I just called a lady stupid. We’ll actually I said what she was doing was stupid, but I clearly wasn’t living out this commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
If there’s anything in abundance and growing in our land today, it’s dissension and hate. It seems like our society is collapsing all around us. Lawlessness is abounding and immorality is not only accepted but encouraged and actually celebrated. Those that don’t agree are often labeled bigots.
As Christians it’s hard not to be angry toward those that we feel are causing the disruption.
Yet, God commands us to love even when we don’t see eye to eye, or we think their attitudes and decisions will cause harm to others. We can’t always condone every action of our neighbor, but we can still love the person. And admittedly that’s hard, really hard.
While it may be difficult to fight for what’s right and just and still love, we don’t change people by hating them or calling them stupid. They can only be changed by showing them the love of Christ.
So how do we love the unloveable?
We love people by telling them the truth. But if that truth isn’t delivered in love, we might as well just keep our opinions to ourself. Still our words may or may not be accepted, but that’s not up to us.
Standing up for what we believe is right may cause angry push back from those who disagree. But there’s always a way to disagree without viciously attacking someone’s character and inciting more anger and hate. A soft answer turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1). Try it next time your in a heated debate and watch the angry person calm down and pay more attention to what you are saying.
We love people by being there when they are hurting or in their time of need. There’s no better way to earn the right to speak truth into someone’s life. No one wants to listen to some Bible thumping obnoxious, judgmental stranger shoveling a Bible in their face and telling them they are going to hell. That tactic may have worked in times past, but it’s a big turnoff to unbelievers in our society today and, frankly, unless God has already prepared that person to receive, you won’t get very far with them.
People do respond to kindness. Especially when they are grieving the loss of a love one, battling sickness or just having a hard time. What better way to open the door for an unbelieving co-worker than to say. “Hey, I noticed your struggling and are having a hard day. Can I pray for you or get you something? They will seldom decline and when you have an opportunity to share your faith, they will be opening to listening. Even something as cup of cold water given in love can change a life. (Matthew 10:42)
This verse sounds so easy. “Just love your neighbor as yourself.” Yet it is so incredibly hard. But Jesus never promised us easy. He just promised he would always be with us