And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Luke 10:25-29 ESV
There is so much hate in the world today that it is stifling. In the United States after the last presidential election people have been spewing out hatred for the president and anyone who voted for him or supports him. In fact, if you voice anything near a conservative opining you risk being inundated with hate filled responses. It’s enough to make one want to withdraw from social media and all social discourse.
What’s a Christian supposed to do? Well, withdrawing is not an option. And as hard as it is we are commanded to do three things, spread the Good News, love God and love our neighbors. Loving God, not all that hard to do but the other two? To quote Shakespeare, “there’s the rub.” It is easy to love God because he loved us first. Easy to love our parents, spouses, kids and friends. That neighbor thing, that can get hard. Sometimes those neighbors can be downright nasty. And Jesus didn’t just include the people living on your block. No Jesus essentially tells us everyone is our neighbor.
Even those who flame us on social media. Those who berate us in public because of our religion, political beliefs or our position on any number of issues. Yep, we are supposed to love them too. But God that’s hard to do. Come on Jesus if you just knew how bad they treat me you would change you mind. And as soon as those words cross your consciousness you feel ashamed. It really doesn’t matter how bad someone treat me, Jesus was treated so much worse.
When we approach someone with love it starts to change them. We may not see the change, but love will overcome hate. It bothers me when I see Christians spewing hatred of others. We must set an example for others to follow. I know that I can always do better than I have in the past. Unfortunately, God is not finished with me. I am a major reclamation project.
Always remember that Love is the greatest commandment. Love God, love each other and love your neighbor wherever you find them.
Have a Blessed day,
PS: This is my first post in over a year. One of the downfalls of retirement for me is a lack of structure. Unfortunately, this affected my writing. Also, I think I set too big a task for me in the past. Trying to write 5 or more posts a week burned me out. I hope to keep a more balanced output. Additionally, Gail and I traveled a bit and we welcomed a new grand daughter 18 months ago. A very big benefit of retirement is more time to spend with our now 3 grandkids and in October a forth. God has blessed my family.