(Our Theme for the Month!)
Galatians 5:14 – “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
It seems so simple, the call to love your neighbor…to be kind and considerate, and to treat those you encounter as you would want to be treated. I find, though, that this is not something that comes naturally to everyone. Almost everyone and everything around us urges people to look out for themselves, please themselves, do what’s good for themselves…It’s so rare that we receive messages that convey this key command from God—Love your neighbor as yourself—to be selfless, sacrificing, and to consider someone else’s well-being above your own.
This decree becomes even more challenging to fulfill when we consider the fact that the “neighbor” to which God refers is not only your friend, your relative, or your loved one; but also your enemy, your adversary, the proverbial bane of your existence. Loving them as you love yourself?? THAT’S when things get really tough and really interesting. I think it’s important to note, here, that loving someone does not equate to serving as their proverbial punching bag. It doesn’t mean that you have to just sit there and accept unacceptable behavior. I think that God simply means that we are to show them the grace and mercy in their flawed state that God shows us daily in ours. In doing so, we begin to create spaces for change, for reconciliation, for redemption, and hopefully, for salvation.
So, in the end, the mission is clear—Love thy neighbor. Your love, your patience, your acceptance may be the very thing needed to bring about a miraculous and life-changing work in someone else’s life.
Thoughts, reactions, or testimonies? Leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!
(This was a billboard I saw while driving one day that made me smile as I paused in the middle of my road rage lol)