Feature

Choose to Love

GCF in Action

By Anonymous

These days “terrorism” is a normal word in conversation, and the world’s countries are mixing and mingling through immigration like never before. This reality gives us an opportunity to exercise faith—choosing to act on what we know to be true despite what we see.

Thirteen years ago I was presented with a choice. My friend and coworker had been murdered in the city where we lived. Her martyrdom was unexpected and traumatic. Her life was snuffed out by the very people she served.

I was out of town when it happened, staying with the local pastor and his wife. After being notified of the horrific event, the pastor and I climbed in the car and raced down the familiar road toward the unknown.

During that car ride, I was given a precious 45 minutes to think, to imagine, to question, to pray. Forty-five precious minutes to make a choice between fear and faith.

At the entrance to the city that I called home, a huge mosque was being built, and as we passed it, I said aloud to no one in particular and yet to every listening being in the heavenly realm, “I will love them! I choose to love them.”

In days of attacks and threats, we cannot be enslaved by fear. God’s people have the Spirit of Christ, not the spirit of this world. We have the power to exercise our will and choose a different path—a path of love, a path of faith—not faith in the humans that surround us but rather in the God who sovereignly puts them in our path. I beg you to respond to the world’s events with a choice to love, a choice to believe.

Every terrorist plot, every dichotomy between Christianity and Islam is another reminder to exercise faith. It’s an opportunity to choose love over hate. To believe the Word of God over the words of men. To seize the moment and make a difference in this world desperate for hope and guidance.

If Jesus’ followers will not respond in love, who will? If faith, hope, and love do not mark the character of the Church, what will? And if now is not the time to respond in love and to exercise this faith, then when?

I didn’t know how that choice 13 years ago would affect me or be demonstrated in my life. I didn’t know the future and what wars would come and go. I didn’t know I would bring three children into this world and send them to school next to a mosque. I didn’t know that I would live in Europe among immigrants.

All I knew is that it was the right thing to do. If my faith in Jesus was real, then I could love. It is still the right decision when I’m tempted to fear, when I remember my friend’s murder, when I doubt the intentions of the people who know where we live.

Every day holds new opportunities for all of us to exercise faith. Let’s choose to love.

—an Alliance worker serving in Europe

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