Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth
Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
(From the hymn O Holy Night)
I hear many stories in our company of people who came to work for us just after they got out of prison or drug rehab, or who have had mental and emotional disorders and believe they’re unemployable. They’re hopeless.
Having been in that place myself, I don’t see them that way. I once was broken and beyond repair. Jesus came into my worthless life, and because of what he did for me and now does in me, I now feel valued. Because I fill my life with Jesus, he gives me a healthy walk, skills to make a difference in the marketplace, and love beyond my own human capacity. When unemployable people come to work for us, I see the person I once was—and still am—without Jesus.
Jesus came to teach us to love one another. When we love one another, we’re looking more at how we can serve than at the other person’s flaws.
When an unemployable person comes to work for us, he or she often is similar to a slave because they can’t find work anywhere else. Through the eyes of Jesus, we don’t see them as slaves, but people who can become brothers and sisters. We don’t take advantage of their oppressed state but treat them with respect and admiration for coming through to where they are now. We’re very grateful for them because they want to do something useful with their lives and are reaching out to us for help.
In many small and large ways, as we go about our lives today and each day, we can become aware of the broken, hurting people in our lives and bring love where love isn’t. Some of them will receive our love and someday grow into little expressions of Jesus, spreading even more love around. What a privilege to know we’re playing a role in the genuine restoration of the lives of broken, hopeless men and women.
That’s the message of Jesus.
I’m forever and eternally grateful Jesus came for me. And for you.
Blessed holidays to you and your loved ones,