Ministry Imagine #3

The greatest commands, say Jesus, is to love and love our neighbor (cf. Matt 22:37-40).

  • That’s a package commandment, as we can’t do one without the other.
  • To love God, we must love our neighbors and when we love our neighbors, we also are loving God.

What then is an ethic of love?

  • The video below of Team Hoyt offers a good illustration of what this ethic is. It’s a story about father and son, Dick and Rick Hoyt.
  • Here’s the back story: Rick was born with cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair. As a baby, doctors encouraged the Hoyt’s to institutionalize Rick, believing he would never be much more than a vegetable. However, the Hoyt’s chose instead to fight for their son to live life to his fullest capacity. After getting Rick fitted with a computer that allowed him to communicate, the Hoyt’s learned that their son was quite intelligent. Rick eventually went on to graduate from Boston University and then worked for Boston College in their computer department helping develop communications systems for people with disabilities. Today this is what father and son, Dick and Rick are up to.
  • Here’s the video:

So how can we practice the ethic of love in our own lives?

  • Drake Bassett said in a recent tweet, “It costs us nothing to give praise to others. Who knows what one word of encouragement might do in the life of another?”
  • He’s right!
  • So maybe we might start by becoming more observant of others around us that we will have some form of praise to offer them.
  • Just imagine how different life might be if every person in the world received at least one word of praise for who they are . . . image bearers of the God who created them.

So what’s on your mind that can help us live as better ministers?

8 responses to “Ministry Imagine #3

  1. Love this father, son story. Saw it awhile back, I think the father wasn’t a trained athlete, but did the training for his son so they could do this together. (I may have the story wrong.) You actually touched on a subject I have been chewing on. The lesson I am learning is that love is so costly of ourselves. It is truly difficult to lift up the unloveable people in my life. In order to really love them I have to see them as Christ does. Through my filter it just gets frustrating. Learning to love through the eyes of our Lord is the only way I can possibly have a relationship with the difficulties some bring on. It can only happen if I can set aside my expectations and meet them where they are at. I would imagine, as a minister, you have had to learn this many times over. How do you practice love for those it is difficult to love?

    • “How do you practice love for those it is difficult to love?”

      It’s never easy. One thing I believe we must do is remember who we are before God, who loves us . . . a sinner. Awareness of our own sin before God who still loves us and offers us grace ought to encourage the humility necessary for loving those form whom it is difficult to love.

      Thanks for the great question and the great comment.

      Grace and Peace,


  2. Richard Beck recently wrote on his blog, “We just don’t wake up one morning and start living the Sermon on the Mount”. Meaning, that it does not come naturally easy.

    The same is true regarding love. The reason so many Christians have animosity toward the poor, the alien, the outcast, is because they do not “feel it”, usually because they judge these groups by their own political and/or social ethic.

    Love is a choice. Individuals and groups are not called upon to make us feel good about them. We are called on by Jesus to see God in them.

    • You’re right, love is a choice. That’s why it is an ethic and not just a feeling or some other nebulous emotion (that’s not to deny the emotional component involved with choosing to love). May we all be better lovers of people, including the poor and outcasts, as we follow Jesus!

      Thanks for your comment.

      Grace and Peace,


  3. Yes,so true, we must remember who we are and who He is. The other thing is that I so believe in this power that love has. It really is the only way by which we are truly transformed. The power behind love’s actions are beyond anything else we know. We must be people who demonstrate its abilities and live and believe in it if we ever want to reach those in need of it. It is the very water that gives us the life we were created for. I pray as we need it and drink of it we will share in it. Have a great day, dear friend!

  4. One of the great things about this story is that people assumed Rick was not intelligent until the barrier to his communication disability was broken down. I’ve been guilty of writing people off because I had trouble communicating with them or they with me. Wonder what other stories I missed because of that?

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