Don’t Treat People Like Projects

If you treat people like projects for you to improve, then when they don’t want to participate in that project you will inevitably treat them as a waste of time or you will feel threatened by them–because all you are seeing in them is something that needs fixing.

But the Bible instead calls us simply to love our neighbor as ourselves. This changes the motive to intervene. Our interest in people’s growth becomes selfless because it is based on love, instead of a “need to fix” them. It changes how we intervene.

It means ‘I want to help them, but I love them even without improvement, and I love them even if the pace of improvement is considerably slower or different from what “I” wanted.’

That is giving up control. It re-humanizes people so that we treat them like people and not just ‘projects.’

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The Ethic of the Underground Railroad

“There was no regular organization, no constitution, no officers, no laws or agreement or rule except the ‘Golden Rule,’ and every man did what seemed right in his own eyes.” -Isaac Beck, an underground stationmaster in southern Ohio

How Great Loves Become Subtle Hatreds

“We may give our human loves the unconditional allegiance which we owe only to God. Then they become gods: then they become demons. Then they will destroy us, and also destroy themselves. For natural loves that are allowed to become gods do not remain loves. They are still called so, but can become in fact complicated forms of hatred.” -C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“God is Love,” Not “Love is God”

“St John’s saying that God is love has long been balanced in my mind against the remark of a modern author (M. Denis de Rougemont) that ‘love ceases to be a demon only when he ceases to be a god’; which of course can be re-stated in the form ‘begins to be a demon the moment he begins to be a god’. This balance seems to me an indispensable safeguard. If we ignore it the truth that God is love may slyly come to mean for us the converse, that love is God.” -C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

How Jesus Treated His Enemies

“What was he to his enemies! Did he call for fire from heaven when they wronged him? Was he all on a heat? When his poor disciples, being more flesh than spirit, would have fire from heaven, ‘You know not what spirit you are of,’ saith he, Luke ix. 55. He shed tears for those that shed his blood, ‘Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem,’ &c., Mat. xxiii. 37, that afterward crucified him. And upon the cross you see there to his very enemies, ‘Father, forgive them, they know not what they do,’ Luke xxiii. 34. So then if we will be like to Christ, consider how he carried himself to God in devotion and obedience, and how in himself he was full of purity and holiness, unspotted every way; how to his friends, to all that had any goodness in them; and how to his enemies, he prayed for his very enemies.” -Richard Sibbes, Glorious Freedom