4:157 – God Meant It, Let’s Do It
#faithbites #faithjourney meant
Driving on I-65 through Tennessee this morning, I saw the billboard in the picture. I have been thinking about this nonstop. God truly wants us to love our neighbors, NO MATTER WHAT. That doesn’t mean we have to agree with their choices, we don’t have to like them, heck, we may not wand to hang out with them at all, but we can love them. Here’s a shocker: There are some people, I don’t like. I love them, but don’t like them and don’t want to hang out with them.
Many of us get hung up on hating or disliking people who are gay, trans, non-binary, black, non-native US-born, or a host of any other thing that separates us. It’s almost like we have to have an enemy or we feel less in our lives. If a gay couple gets married, that doesn’t change your marriage with your spouse. If a foreign-born person comes to the country to start a new life, it doesn’t stop you from pursuing your dreams. God made us all part of the body of Christ. We need all the pieces to work together.
The other day, I had one of my wife’s cousins send me a message out of the blue saying that while I didn’t agree politically with my late grandpa, he loved us and was looking down on us. That is what God meant, when he said Love your neighbor.
Today’s Questions: What hang-ups do you have when we see someone who isn’t like you? What about them makes you so mad? Is it something internally that you are struggling with?
- Leviticus 19:18 – You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
- Deuteronomy 10:19 – So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
- Matthew 22:39 – The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
- Galatians 5:14 – For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
From the old to the new Testaments, we are told to love our neighbors as ourselves. If we are holding a grudge against our neighbor for what they are, are we stopping ourselves from fulfilling God’s plan? I get mad at people not for who they are but for how they act. So if someone is a jerk, I get mad at them. I don’t get mad if they are gay, black, foreign-born, or whatever. There is a difference between what someone is and how they behave. BIG DIFFERENCE.
When I see someone persecute someone for what they are, it ticks me off. When I was a kid, my mum used to say I bullies are mean because they have an inner hurt and are taking it out on you. God never said to hate the foreigner or to persecute the non-Christians. He said and he meant to love. He even told the disciples if they come across a town where people won’t listen to the word, to leave. (Matthew 10:14). We can’t change what someone is. We can only show loved, respect, and support for them. I don’t always get it wrong. Just this weekend I had to correct myself for using wrong terminology. It’s an accident and I want to get better.
As we close, let’s remember that God meant for us to be in communion with one another. He wants us to love, respect, and help each other. Hating someone for what they are, will only bring us and them down. Remember, life isn’t a Zero Sum Game. God had enough love for all of us.
Lord Jesus, we are all broken and all unique. Our vision is not like yours. We can’t see the good in everyone and we can’t put aside our perceptions of what good is. We pray that you will clear the dirt from our eyes and let us see the people for who they are. Let us see why you made them the way you did and how we can support, love, and cherish them as you cherish all your children. We pray this in your name, Amen.