Written by cycleguy on April 14th, 2015


C.S. Lewis is credited with saying,

Do not waste your time bothering whether you ‘love’ your neighbor: Act as if you do.

I was once pastored a church where there were some (how shall I say this?) “territorial” people. What I mean by that is they had their pew, their set, their parking spot, etc. In fact, I know of one time when the man actually went to someone and asked him to move since he was sitting in his seat. Yeah…I know what you are thinking. Probably the same thing I said when I heard: “Say what?” Fortunately, I didn’t have to deal with it since it happened before I got there.

Those kinds of horror stories are death to a church. I’m sure you know of worse. I will go on record as saying actions like that are “repulsive.”

The truth is anytime we fail to show love it is repulsive. Francis Schaeffer once wrote a book called “The Mark of a Christian.” As you can guess it was about love.

Bobby puts it this way: “Love draws people near, but self-love drives people away. According to Jesus, love is a visual, tangible witness to the wonder of God Himself. And the church is where love is to be experienced in spades. Yet, sometimes it’s the one thing missing.” (p.155)

We sometimes only have one chance to love someone. One chance. We can choose to be repulsive or attractive. Guess which one makes the impression? Both. Guess which one lasts? Both. Guess which one draws people closer? Yeah. only one.

Repulse or attract? Which will it be? How do you think you do?


23 Comments so far ↓

  1. Daniel says:

    My autistic condition might appear to drive me to be territorial, but it is actually strict routine that I seek. If someone took my seat, it would definitely knock me for a loop. I would not ask them to move however, but I would think it loudly in my head and set me in a negative tailspin. Repulse or attract? Judging by what reaction I tend to get from folks, I would be in the “repulsive” category most of the time. That is not because I am mean spirited or nasty, it is because of whatever is going on in my head.

    • cycleguy says:

      We all have our “quirks” Daniel. Yours happens to be a little different than many. Sadly, many will take your response as a push back. Thanks for opening my eyes.

  2. Only God can give us the authentic love we need to live out His love to this broken world.

    We can’t drum it up on our own.

    We’re all too unlovely without His grace …

  3. Jeff says:

    “The truth is anytime we fail to show love it is repulsive” I am not sure what definition of love you are using but I certainly do not go through my day showing everyone love. And somehow I am one of the more liked and friendly people in the workplace.
    The fact is most people I would prefer to ignore. They are not interesting to talk to or be around. But I say hi to everyone.
    So I would just say that it isn’t the truth that you are loving or repulsing. I think there is a whole lot of space in between. It’s not that black and white.

    • cycleguy says:

      I should clarified since I am primarily speaking of during a worship service. But also think of some of your own comments to me. How many times has an unlovely comment or word or thought been said and it turned you off?

      • Jeff says:

        I am not sure what comments, words or thoughts you might be thinking of. If you are loving everyone then love becomes a very watered down almost meaningless word. I love very few people. I respect a few more. And I try to tolerate the rest. And I don’t get in the way of any of them if at all possible. So the bulk of my interactions with my fellow primates is strictly business and I have no interest in their personal life or care for them to have an interest in mine. And I think that is pretty much the same with everyone. I don’t think most people spend much time loving or repulsing. Much less either one or the other all the time which is what you seem to suggest.

        • cycleguy says:

          Many followers of Christ turn others off by their lack of love. You have seen that I know. People are turned off to hearing the message of Jesus because many who call themselves Christians don’t act like it. We can choose to love others (which Jesus says is the hallmark of following Him) or we can turn people off to even want to hear.

  4. I stink at it. To quote Chavall Guevera about myself, “I think you love yourself too much.”

  5. David says:

    Because I’m naturally introverted my guess is I might seem to lean to the repulsive end of the scale. But it’s not an intentional mean-spiritedness or “you’re-sitting-in-MY-pew” kind of thing. I just don’t get out of my “shell” easily …

    • cycleguy says:

      As I responded to Daniel: sadly there are those who take that to be mean-spirited or a push back to their “encroachment.” I respect your “shell” if you prefer to stay in it. But I will try my best to get you out of it!! 🙂

  6. Ceil says:

    Hi Bill! I think there’s a little ‘territorial’ going on at our church too. We are creatures of habit, that’s for sure. But asking someone to move? That’s a little out there…

    How we need the Holy Spirit and His grace. Without it, we are just sunk. (Check out the Old Testament!) May we all see that God wants so much love from us, a mirror of the love He shows us. It’s a definite challenge!
    In love,

  7. Gingi says:

    I think every church has “those” people. Looking back, as a newly converted teenager on fire for God’s word, I WAS one of those people. I specifically remember getting angry at a newcomer in youth group when they took “my” seat. Anyone who’s anyone knows that I sit in THAT seat after I finish playing bass for the worship team. (Additionally, I only wanted that seat so I’d have a good view of the guy I was crushing on. Talk about layers upon layers of hypocrisy!)

    But thus is human nature. Every day we war with the flesh and seek to give way to the Spirit. More of Him, less of us. I’ve been a Christian for roughly 15 years now. And while I can look back with a blushing fondness and even some good natured humor at my past “Jesus Freak with a Narcissistic Streak” teenage self, I realize that every day I am still that foolish little girl who is nothing and no one without my Lord and Savior.

    Am I making any sense? I like to come onto your blog and ramble, I’ve noticed, haha..

    • cycleguy says:

      You make perfect sense Gingi. What does that say about me? LOL I think you have accurately pictured many followers of Christ. I am sitting here right now and can name some whose day would be off kilter if they had to sit somewhere else. Come to think of it: I take the same seat each week also. 🙂 And for the record: I don’t mind you rambling.

  8. Bill, a former pastor of mine had many cartoons on his bulletin board. One depicts an elderly couple scowling at the young family sitting in their customary pew. The caption read (and I paraphrase): “After 40 years sitting in the same place, the Smiths are not happy campers.”
    I’ve noted from my own experience in helping lead the contemporary service that people almost always park themselves in the same place. If you want to know who’s in attendance, all you need to do is focus on that particular pew. It is, indeed, a shame when we fail to realize it is not about us, but all about God’s love. I pray we show it, even if our comfortable pew is taken.

    • cycleguy says:

      Funny you should mention that attendance thing Martha. That was one way I used to recollect who was here in some of the churches where records were not kept of who was and who was not here.

  9. floyd says:

    You know where I land on this subject. Having seen the look on folks faces of being repulsed by me or my type, based on appearance of course, I go out of my way to show others the same unmerited favor I’m shown every second of every day and every breath in between.

  10. Caleb Suko says:

    Sometimes I like to find a different place to sit when I’m not preaching just to mix things up a bit and I know that there’s probably someone who walks into the church and thinks “Well what am I gonna do now?” but I think it’s good for them!