Love Your Neighbor

Relationships have suffered in the past few years. The isolation of the COVID epidemic and vastly differing political views have contributed to unprecedented divisions. Social media is a great way to keep in touch, but it has its downside. It allows us to express our opinion in a way that insulates us from real confrontations. We feel free to throw our thoughts and views like sowing seed. And, unless we are careful, we are sowing dissention, disagreement, and conflict…weeds that choke out relationships. Lifelong friendships have ended, families are split apart, and verbal confrontations have become the norm. Ridicule, sarcasm, and bitter words become weapons of destruction.

Humility: In the Dustbin of History

God told Micah His prophet, that what He requires from us is to do good; to do justice; love kindness, and to walk humbly with Him. He emphasized that a right relationship with Him…one that recognizes His sovereignty, omnipotence, and transcendence as compared to our human frailty is the foundation for relationships with others. Jesus said the two greatest commandments were to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbor as ourselves. We all have opinions and worldviews based upon our life experiences, but in today’s world it appears it is “my way or the highway.” We have lost the art of having discussions incorporated with humility. Rather, we plunge on, thinking we are right. We don’t listen; while the other is speaking, we are compiling our response rather than respecting the other person rather than accepting we might learn something.

We can be Friends even if we Disagree

In these times we are submerged in an eddy of information and opinion, causing us to either fight against the current or just go along. It doesn’t have to be those two extremes. Empathy for the other person requires us to try to put ourselves in their place; attempt to at least consider their point of view based upon who they are. That’s one way to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are so quick to criticize that often we miss the point. I am not saying that we should not stand up for truth; rather I am hoping that we can disagree with another person without severing the relationship. That’s where humility comes into play. It hurts when another person attacks you for your views. It is hard not to want to retaliate, but if we are going to restore our nation, we must put our egos aside and temper our responses. Jesus said that those who make peace are blessed. Why? Because only then can the world see we are truly His children.

Author: jleasmith

I have led bible studies for over thirty-five years and one thing I have learned--God uses imperfect people who believe and trust Him. Therefore, I have written fictional accounts of selected Bible characters in order to display God's mercy and love to less than perfect people. In fact, I found He goes out of His way to display their shortcomings and failings in order to demonstrate His grace. The Old and New Testament are inexorably intertwined in order to display the scarlet thread of redemption. His promises are ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ. These three books encompass the Old Testament and those who believed in things unseen. It is my hope that readers will see that scarlet thread moving in the lives of ordinary men and women today. The early saints looked forward to a promised redeemer, but we look back upon His life and ministry. We must make a choice to believe or not. His reward is not based on works, but faith alone. We are no different than those ancient people.

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