On Saturday I attended the memorial service for Letisha Reimer, the 13-year-old Christian girl who died following an attack in her high school a few blocks from my home. It’s hard for me to imagine what possessed the 21-year-old drifter who committed this evil act.
“What possessed you to do that?” is a question asked in many contexts. For instance, a parent might ask it when he learns that his teen is experimenting with drugs.
A wife might ask it upon discovering that her husband has gambled away their life savings.
I’ve recently heard of airline pilots arriving for work intoxicated. No doubt someone’s asking them this question.
These are negative examples, and the answers vary: selfishness, fear, unresolved personal issues, poor judgment, or plain ol’ sinful nature. But the same question can be asked in a positive context.
Think about the nearly 90-year-old man who travels to Poland every summer as part of a volunteer mission team (it’s true!). What possesses him to do that?
What possesses a child to save her allowance for a year and then spend it on a toy for a less privileged child at Christmas?
What possesses a middle-aged man to donate one of his kidneys to his younger sister whose health is failing?
What possesses a couple in their late 50s to quit their jobs, sell their home, and get involved in a career ministry with no pay or benefits?
The apostle Paul knows the answer. “Whatever we do, it is because Christ’s love controls us,” he wrote to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 5:14).
Imagine with me what the world might look like if Christ’s love possessed us: We’d put others’ needs ahead of our own. We’d give and serve with no ulterior motive or desire for repayment. We’d seek to be peacemakers and to promote harmony within our families, our churches, and our workplaces. We’d refuse to take offense at unkind or thoughtless remarks, and we’d not pass judgment on those who don’t measure up to our standards or expectations.
Paul encourages us to allow Christ’s love to control us. Let’s do what he says. Let’s ask Jesus to fully possess our minds, our eyes, our hands, our tongues, and our feet and to love others through us.
Our world is a hurting place and desperately needs hope and transformation. Christ’s love and its power to change lives is the answer. Amen?
#bgbg2 #ChristianDevotions #PowerofLove