Over the years I have given myself different mottos to focus on. They have often been encouraging words through tough times, or challenging words to push me further. Before I embarked on my short-term mission to El Salvador back in 2013 the motto I gave myself on the mission was “Love Always.” This definitely fell into the “challenging word” category.
I challenged myself on the mission that no matter what situation, no matter how I may feel, no matter who it is, I needed to remember to Love Always. I wanted to follow the idea to love the least of these where ever I may be. This could only be accomplished with God by my side. Even if I was exhausted, hungry, filthy, sick,or depressed I needed to remember to refocus on God so that I could Love Always. Every morning and every night I needed to refocus on God for continued strength. I desired to follow Christs example of love. He Loves Always. He loves the beggars, the lepers, the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the blind, even those that betrayed Him. The list goes on. Could I do the same? Could I Love Always just as Christ does? Could I love all the people I would meet on my mission? Could I love the children, the workers, the missionaries, the pastors, the church members, the hosts, the sinners, the corrupt, the broken, the hurting, the lost, the desperate, the leader, the follower, the team, the bus driver, the victim, the crippled? Could I love through language barriers, cultural barriers, sickness, aches, lack of sleep, dirt, hunger, thirst, depression, heartache, comfort, and fear? Jesus faced all of these things and more.
I gave myself the challenge in El Salvador to Love Always. By myself it is impossible. However, with God it is possible. He can use me as a vessel to show His love for the lost, broken, twisted people. The same people that may hate my guts, His love for them could shine through me. I need to be willing to let Him.
I share the motto “Love Always” with you not only as a continual challenge within my own life but hopefully to challenge each and everyone of you to Love Always. As we continue to watch our world spiraling out of control we often forget how important it is to love one another. As The Beatles said, “All You Need Is Love.”
Vince Antonucci explains further how important it is to love one another:
“People desperately need to be loved.
We live in a broken world.
People are hurting.
But the salve for their pain is not medicine or surgery. It’s also not the next party, hit, thrill, boyfriend or girlfriend, outfit, cool gadget, or new car. It’s love. The unconditional love of God offered through the compassionate concern of a Christian is the only thing that can bring healing for which people long.
God knew this messed-up world would leave people broken, so he equipped us with what people need: his unconditional love. Hurting people know instinctively they need this, so when we criticize or ignore them instead of loving them of course they despise us.
The answer is love.”
Source: Guerrilla Lovers, Vince Antonucci