The sign outside a church on the west side of Cincinnati stated – “The closer you are to God, the bigger your heart for people.”
This week, I began to think about what Jesus said when asked about living up to the commandments of God:
1. Love God
2. Love Others
Jesus continued with the familiar story of the Good Samaritan to define who is our “neighbor”. It’s a well known parable of Christ illustrating the inconsistency of “religious” people who speak of caring but do rationalize their lack of action, while someone who is less than us is willing to give and care the needs of someone in dire need of attention.
Who is my neighbor? The person who is not like me. The one who disagrees with my views. The one who is lost and has no spiritual direction. The one who needs help.
People in the church are full of hate.
I’ve heard it. You’ve heard it. Sometimes it appears to be true.
We boycott companies who have a view different view on things the Bible clearly describes as sin. We rant against the violence and evil our culture embraces and promotes to the rest of the world. Yet, we contend that we are called to “love the sinner, hate the sin”.
This week I encountered two people who responded to the issues of the day in a way that I can only describe as angry. Mad. Really MAD. The first was upset at a permissive society and suggested people stand up against the companies and institutions promoting the immorality. The second expressed his frustration with the lack of enthusiasm for Christian living within the church with disdain for those in attendance. What disturbed me most was that in their anger I saw myself at times. Do I respond that way? Why?
It’s easy to say I love or I believe. How about applying it in my life? Today.
Indeed loving people is difficult, but we are called to love inspite of other people’s wrong doing. We see in Matt 5:46 Jesus said that what credit do we have if we only love those who love us. Love covers everything.
Let us love for God is love. 1 Jn 4:7-8,12.