God is very nice. He’s kind, caring, and takes care of those who can’t take care of themselves. Isn’t that nice?
Like in Deuteronomy 10:18
He administers justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the stranger, giving him food and clothing
“Aah,” we say, “isn’t that great of God to take care of the poor and oppressed. I’m off the hook, because it’s God who is the defender of the defenseless, provider for the fatherless and widow. I don’t have to worry about it, because that nice God is on the job.”
But the very next verse starts with a “Therefore”, that pesky word that shows up sometimes in scripture. And when it does, it usually means something is going to be required of me:
Therefore love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
He just had to go there, didn’t he? He just had to remind me that I was once the outcast. I was once the one who was the stranger, the one who was on the outside looking in. I was once the slave, the addict, the outsider.
And since He took me in and loved me, He now wants me to do the same for others.
It’s much easier to be afraid of strangers, to forget that we were once in their shoes. It would be much easier to ignore them and assume they deserve to be where they are. But my love for the stranger is not optional. And it’s not just being nice. It’s a commandment.
There goes God again, not allowing me to live in the comfort zone of my little box.
This blog is also featured today on the Compassion International blog. I’m grateful for the opportunity to encourage Compassion’s followers to think about God’s command to “love the stranger.” You can find out more here. And while you’re at it, pray about becoming a Compassion child sponsor. It’s a fantastic way to begin living what this post is saying. I sponsor 3 children myself and know you won’t regret it.