Every Time We See People as Ordinary, We Turn the Wine Back into Water

If Love Isn’t the Defining Characteristic of Our Faith

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which He revealed His glory; and His disciples believed in Him. — John 2:11

I’ve never met a new parent who isn’t positive their baby is the cutest on planet earth. Even the so-so ones in their minds could rival George Clooney. The thing is this: parents give their baby the benefit of the doubt. Even the things that drive everyone else nuts they find worthy of celebrating. Parents see an emerging personality when the rest of us hear a scream. They see affection when the rest of us see a toothless child gnawing on a table leg. Every giggle, every curve of the mouth, every grip of the finger. We see squirming behaviors, they see Einstein in a diaper. Parents know something about their babies that some of us forget about ourselves. Parents are certain that their kid is a miracle.

We come across people at all different stages of life, and sometimes we decide that someone is ordinary based on what we observe. All that happened is this: we’ve missed their quiet moments of courage, their tender moments of inexplicable compassion, the sleepless nights filled with despair. We’ve caught them in chapter seven of a book with twenty-two chapters, and we evaluate the whole book without knowing how it began and where it will end.

Jesus worked countless miracles while He was here on earth. He brought people to life and brought life to groups of people. Just like the time He turned water into wine when a celebration had jumped the tracks, Jesus was always in the business of restoration. Nothing He touched remained ordinary, and His fingerprints are on every person who shows up on the scene.

Look closely at yourself. Think about some of the people you work with or live with. Look closely at them too. Every time we miss the miracle in ourselves or the people around us, every time we see people as ordinary, we turn the wine back into water.

What miracle is happening in the growth of someone around you that you haven’t noticed before?

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If Love Isn’t the Defining Characteristic of Our Faith, We Need to Find Our Way Back to Where We Started

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. — John 15:18

One time Jesus and His disciples wanted to go to a village in Samaria. Here was the problem: the people in the village weren’t having it. Apparently, they had an issue with people from Jerusalem. The disciples heard the outcry from the village, and do you know what they said?

Jesus, do you want us to call down fire from Heaven to destroy them?

Yikes. It seems a little harsh, yet at the same time not unfamiliar. We’re a lot like the disciples sometimes, wanting to tap into nuclear weapons when people say something we don’t agree with or rub us the wrong way. At some point, we started to believe that our doctrine is the defining characteristic of our faith. We got it in our heads that knowing the truth and telling others about it was our greater purpose here on earth than simply loving the people God made.

The Gospel isn’t a set of doctrines we agree with, though. It’s actually Jesus.

He said He was the way, the truth, and the life. Don’t add to it. It’s possible to have great doctrine and lousy theology. Loving people the way Jesus did is great theology. The Bible helps us understand how God wants us to live, but never let anything block your view of the fact that He’s the one who holds all things together. He’s the one who rescued us and who still rescues us when we slip up and need some grace.

There will be times you’re not welcomed. There will be times you’re misunderstood. There are times you’ll be angry about it. We don’t need to ask God to rain down fire on the people who have been difficult. Just keep moving forward, eyes fixed on Jesus and off of everyone else.

Is there someone you’ve written off because of the way they once responded to you?

Excerpted with permission from Live in Grace, Walk in Love by Bob Goff, copyright Bob Goff.

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Your Turn

It’s tough to live with and around difficult people. Loving people, especially difficult people, is a daily challenge for believers! But, it’s our calling! Let’s not turn wine back into water! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

Bob Goff

Bob Goff is the New York Times Best-Selling Author of Love Does, as well as an attorney who founded Restore International, a nonprofit human rights organization operating in Uganda and India. Bob often appears at various leadership and university events, inspiring current and future influencers to get to the ”do” part of life.

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