Neighbours, Neighbors

Love Isn’t Easy by R. H. Clark

Some time back, I wrote about “Love” and its application as a work of faith (Read Post Here). As with all musings, it’s easier said than done in our daily lives. People, in general, are often unpleasant or even mean.

So, How Do We Respond?

Perhaps you recall Principal 8 (from Celebrate Recovery), “Yield ourselves to God and bring the ‘Good News’ to others.” That sounds good in principle, but how do we do that? Do we share the plan of salvation with every person we meet? Do we “take their inventory of bad behavior” and share our observations with them? As if that will work.

Please remember, the way you live your life may be the only Bible lesson a person will ever see or hear. With that in mind, reacting to any circumstance with kindness and courtesy is an absolute must. Not only will it have an impact on the people around you, but it will help shape you as well.

In the past twenty years, pundits ask in their columns, “Why is this happening?” The proposed answers to this question include having too many guns (any at all), lack of education, left-wing subversives, right-wing radicals, or not enough Jesus.

I suggest we look in the Bible for the answer, specifically, Matthew 22:39 when Jesus calls us to, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” He doesn’t mean just our next-door neighbors, but the rest of the world as well.

Loving Your Neighbor

Loving your neighbor will not solve all of our social discord, but you will be surprised that there are “neighbors” in this world who will respond to kindness. Sadly, prophecy teaches us that society will break down and those of us who choose to follow Jesus will be persecuted. Jesus never said otherwise.

In Matthew 10:18, Jesus said, “On my account, you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and the Gentiles.” Your behavior is your most important witness to the world.

Not everyone will be positively impacted by your humble behavior. However, if you reach only one person than the effort is well worth the price. Ultimately, people will change because of you and their lives will be changed for the better.

The following acrostic and scripture are worth remembering:

L—love God first
O—open up to healthy relationships
V—verify your love through works
E—embrace service

Luke 8:16-18 tells us, “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. Therefore, consider carefully how you listen.”

How you live shows what you believe, you can’t hide it. Let your life show your love and your faith in Jesus.

Click Here To Read More by R. H. Clark

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By R H Clark

Ron is a retired pharmacist with 42 years of experience. He and his wife Kitty have been on mission trips to Thailand and Columbia. Ron lives in Rockport, TX and enjoys fishing, hunting, and riding motorcycles.

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