It often seems easier to love everybody rather than this one unique individual. And, of course, there are many groups of people that need our love. But many times we hide behind extending this generic love to people in general rather than learning how to meet the personal and unique needs of an individual.
To be sure, with Jesus, there’s a time to feed the crowds en masse – blessing many people simultaneously through our efforts. But this should not replace those moments in which personal touch and involvement is also called for.
For instance, we often delegate our help through official ministries and organizations. Perhaps we support a ministry financially or even volunteer our time to help them out. And certainly it’s good to support those on the frontlines. Everyone can’t do everything and we rightly support those efforts of love we’re unable to personally do ourselves.
At the same time, this should never be an excuse to avoid our personal efforts of love.
Maybe more powerful than merely giving our money and time to support a cause, is to be the hands and feet of Christ ourselves.
This might be directly supporting someone facing financial hardship. We meet the need personally ourselves rather than through the ministry efforts of someone else.
Likewise, we might also personally help a neighbor with a project rather than simply waiting on the general service days sponsored by others.
Whatever it looks like, there’s a personal investment on our part with the unique individuals God has placed in our path. This often calls us out of our comfort zone, as it requires us to be personally involved in the lives of others – going beyond generic love to a love that’s personal and relational.
Love big and wide. But don’t settle and hide behind mere generic love for everyone. Truly loving your neighbor requires you to know and be personally involved with those God has placed in your path.