Christian faith needs to be personal but it’s not meant to isolate us from others. We are members of the body of Christ, not our own entities. As J.B. Phillips points out “Christianity is not a religion at all but a way of life, a falling in love with God, and through him a falling in love with our fellows.” We have the privilege to be God’s beloved children. But all the love we receive from God is meant to be shared with others. We are called to love our neighbors.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31, NIV,*)
Sometimes it feels impossible to love others. It seems all our energy goes into barely surviving. But we should not forget there always lie hidden blessings in following God’s commands. It is also so with loving our neighbors. It is not only for their benefit, it is also for ours.
C.S. Lewis encourages us this way “Do not waste your time bothering whether you “love” your neighbour act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.”
God empowers us to love, even our enemies. We could not do it but God can. Loving our neighbors is one way we can experience God’s power in and through us. When we just take the first step into loving others, God will do the rest. And when we bring love in situations, we bring God in the midst of our neighbors. And, as you know, God does change everything. How blessed we are to have this capacity to bring God to our neighbors.
Thanks for calling us into partnership with you.
We are blessed indeed to be called to love our neighbors.
Thank you for always blessings also the ones that bless others.
Fill us with your love and grace, Lord,
and enable and empower us to love all who we meet.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How do you feel about being called to love our neighbors?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you share God’s goodness with your neighbors.
* [As you might have noticed, I enjoy reading the Bible in different translations and love comparing them. I have started linking the Bible verses toBiblegateway.com so you can easily read (and compare) them in the different versions I’ve used while preparing each post.].