Loving our neighbor is a crucial part of the faith we live by. Loving God and Loving Self are the two other great commands, and we often reach out to Love our Neighbor, but this year, I want to Love my Neighbor Better.
Loving My Neighbor Starts at Home
Sometimes when we think about Loving our neighbor, we can quickly retreat to a place where we have to go and serve the orphans and the widows of some third world country. We’ve all been on those mission trips where we (the privileged people) walk into a place and the crowd goes wild because they know they’re going to “get” something. (More on that later)
But I want to love my neighbor right in my home.
My neighbor doesn’t have to be a starving orphan for me to accomplish the great commandment Jesus talks about in Matthew 22. Loving my neighbor can mean learning how to love deeply for the kids bearing my own last name sleeping under my roof every night.
I have to admit, I’m not the greatest of grace givers when it comes to my own kids. Maybe as a father I compensate for their failures by pushing them harder to succeed. Or maybe I just hold a higher standard for my own kids. I require them to be polite to others, to sit quietly during a football game, and pay attention to not eat like animals at the kitchen table. I suppose that’s all good parenting, but sometimes I allow my own visions and expectations for my kids to be certain people trump the grace of what it means to allow them to be them. I can certainly love my neighbor better under my own roof
Loving my neighbor means loving my wife
You don’t get a chance to love your neighbor across the street at the expense of loving your wife. That just doesn’t make any sense guys.
We have a GREAT commandment to love people we work with, love people we give to, and it all makes sense when we’re outside the home. But think about what happens if we love the whole world, but loose the one who is living in our home. We don’t get to choose to opt out of loving our neighbor, and caring for our wives.
We need to pay more attention to the needs of our spouse.
We should care deeply for the things that interest them.
We should think about and serve them more than just on anniversaries and birthdays.
We should show the world what it means to love our wives well, as we learn to love our neighbor better.
Loving My Neighbor means Loving “those” people
I must admit, loving someone of a different faith is often easier for me than loving people within my own tribe. I find my temper gets REAL short when I start working with fellow Christians who are acting like total idiots.
When Christians Fight – I loose it.
When Christians Fear – I get sarcastic.
When Christians Complain – I just can’t handle it.
But replace Christian with ANY other faith, and I’m totally ok. Crazy, isn’t it?
So this year, I’m committing to loving my tribe BETTER!!
I want to love my Christian friends as well as I love my Muslim friends.
I want to care for my Christian friends, as deeply as I care for my Atheist Friends.
I want my life to speak loudly to care and concern for all the people around me. No matter who they are, where they come from, or what brand of Christian they are, I’m committing to you all…I’m going to Love Well.
My Second New Year’s Resolution – To Love My Neighbor – What will you do to love better, those in your sphere of influence?