Why do you love people? Why do you “minister” to people? Why do you “reach out” to others?
If it is out of obedience to God, or duty to some religious requirement to share your faith, or a sense of obligation to save souls from hell, or maybe to invite people to your church so they can hear the gospel, or maybe to fix their lives and free them from sin, let me invite you to just stop.
Seriously. Stop it.
In today’s show, Darin Hufford shows us that when it comes to loving others, we will do ourselves a great favor, and other people, if we just leave God out of it.
And look … I almost didn’t share this show with you on Theology.fm. I think that Darin and Hans have has some really important things to say in this discussion, but I was really uncomfortable with how the podcast begins, where Darin goes on and on about his love for this other woman who is not his wife. He talks about how he laid in bed just thinking about her and how he couldn’t get her out of his mind. He says it wasn’t sexual, and I believe him, but for people who haven’t listened much to Darin’s podcast, it’s going to be a bit much.
But press through that, because what Darin and Hans share in this show is something we all need to hear.
And it’s this: Look at your thoughts about your neighbors and your coworkers and your unsaved family members. Why do you interact with them and how do you interact with them? If every conversation gets turned around to God or to the Bible or to sin or to some invitation to church, then you might want to reconsider how you approach and interact with these people.
Darin’s suggestion is just to take God out of it. Take the Bible out of it. Take the church out of it. Consider all of those topics completely off limits. And now look at your relationship with these other people. Do you still want to talk to them? Do you still want to hang out with them? Do you still want to be with them?
If not, then you never really loved them in the first place. You only loved them for what they could do for you and the religious requirements you put on yourself to share the gospel with other people. If the only reason you care about people is because you want to witness to them, you don’t really care about them at all. And if that’s the case, then do yourself a favor (and them as well) and just stop pretending to be their friend.
People see right through the fake friendship that religious people create so that they can have witnessing opportunities, and such fake friendships only do more damage to the cause of Christ.
So leave God out of it. And if you cannot do that, then leave yourself out of it. If you cannot leave God out of your conversations with other people, then you really don’t care about those other people, and you are better off just leaving yourself out of those other relationships.
Anyway, Darin and Hans explain this better, so I’ll get out of the way and pass the mic over to them. Here’s Darin and Hans inviting us to leave God out of it.