Some people aren’t hostile toward Christianity for Christ’s sake, but on account of those who call themselves Christians. The only thing that will soften their hearts is genuine love.

Before we were married, my wife and I worked at Holiday Inn. She was a receptionist; I was a bellboy. One night, a man checked in at the hotel, and he became very irate. He raised his voice and started swearing. I didn’t want to see Linda put up with that, so I asked the guest if I could talk to him outside in the parking lot. (Looking back on this incident, I realize it was not a very good idea because I didn’t know the man, and he could have had a gun.)

In the parking lot, I took out a Heaven tract and told the man, “God loves you. Do you know where you will go when you die?”

The hotel guest’s eyes began to tear up. He said, “No one has ever cared for me before.” Then he put his trust in Christ as his Savior.

At that moment, someone shot a firecracker close by. Everyone in the hotel thought I had been shot. When they ran outside to see what was going on, I was standing there with the hotel guest, both of us unharmed. But now he had a different look in his eyes, for the love of Christ had changed him.

Love tears down walls and builds trust. It softens hearts. It rebuilds bridges which have been torn apart by gossip and conflict. You’d be surprised how a little love can transform the meanest, most-hard-to-get-along-with people into friends.

Think about the difference God’s love has made in your life. Show this same love to others — not just a few days from now on Valentine’s Day, but every day of the year. Do you have hard feelings toward your spouse because of an argument? Is there a co-worker you just can’t get along with? Pray that God would love them through you, and watch as He melts the ice.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder