DENVER, Colo. (BNC) by Neal Pollard — I have witnessed many people love, accept, help, and open their homes and lives to people of different races, backgrounds, and income levels.

I have watched families, including my parents, who barely had enough to buy their own groceries buy a poorer family a week’s worth of groceries.

I have seen love, assistance, and tears profusely given to people who frankly confessed their struggles with a variety of sexual sins, addictions, and the like. A hundred pledged love, help, and support for any one that stood back in harsh judgment of them.

I have experienced men, women, and children going into scary neighborhoods to share food, clean homes, and help explain the Bible to those who lived there.

I have noticed people who were taken advantage of as thanks for their generosity but who responded only with kindness and positivity.

I have observed so many cheeks, slapped with libel, untruths, gossip, and hypercriticism—from faithless unbelievers—humbly turned in benevolent, benign gentleness.

I have beheld godly people lose their jobs because of their fidelity to their faith and their conviction in the Christ, who maintained trust and left no room for bitterness and resentment at the unfairness of their treatment.

I have regarded families give up the luxuries of this country to go to poor countries and live among the people there, sharing the good news of Christ with those who don’t talk or look like them.

I have met more people than I can count who made the difficult choice to obey the gospel in the face of utter rejection and persecution from friends and family who disapproved their decision.

I have known countless, from the most aged to the youngest, whose demeanor, speech, and deeds were seasoned with compassion, understanding, sympathy, and patience—not conditioned on the skin color, orientation, political affiliation, educational attainment, or similar surface characteristics of others.

Where? Where has such magnanimous, merciful, and munificent behavior occurred? In the church of Christ!

My heart sings the archaic hymn, “I love Thy kingdom, Lord.” In it, I have found the best people in the world, trying their hardest to be like Jesus.

May we unite to oppose every instance of unkind, un-Christlike behavior among us, but do so with the same patience and understanding we afford anyone else.

Neal works with the Bear Valley congregation in Denver. This article was first published today on his blog.

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. He likes to read novels in his back-porch hammock. http://randal.us

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