The Word Among Us

Easter 2024 Issue

Choosing the “Better Part”

How a Summer of Service Changed My Life

By: Joel Pepmeyer

Choosing the “Better Part”: How a Summer of Service Changed My Life by Joel Pepmeyer

“Whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” (1 John 4:20)

This challenging truth—that I fail to love God when I fail to love the people that he has placed in my life—finally made sense to me in the summer of 2017. Up until then, I saw my relationship with God through largely self-focused lenses. My thought process went something like this: “If I want to be in good standing with God, I must avoid sin. Sin often rears its head in the midst of human interactions. So if I avoid people, I will avoid the drama, steer clear of sin, and stay on the straight and narrow path to heaven.”

It was with this sort of logic that I navigated the halls of high school and the classrooms of college. It seemed reasonable to avoid...


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