Do We Love Our Neighbor?

The Bible says in John 13:34 (NIV): A new command I give to you, Love one another, as I have loved you so you must love one another. This is a command, not a suggestion. We are to love everybody. That much is clear. But why then is there so much arguing and fighting between black and white people, Republicans and Democrats, countries and you name it! We might say that, except we don’t have much to brag about , do we?

The other day I read about an old man who was beaten up on the streets of Boston. People walked past him lying on the sidewalk. They didn’t “want to get involved.” However they were involved. God has commanded those who say they love God to love this man lying hurt beneath their feet.

Yet we say, “Well, I wasn’t there. How could I be involved?” We are involved if we know somebody is hungry and we do nothing about it. If our churches or city organizations continue to ask for your help, but you say, “Someone else will handle that.” or “They can go on welfare, can’t they?” Still we are commanded by God to love and help our neighbor and everyone is our neighbor. We wouldn’t need Welfare or Food Stamps if all of us would love our neighbors like we should.

Love is an overused word these days. We say, “I just love your dress,” or “That dish you brought, I just love it”. I heard that love is a Subaru. That’s going over the line! Anyhow you get it. Love is used where it should be lust.

Love isn’t a schoolyard romance. It is what it’s always been, a mother getting up in the middle of the night for the third time to console her baby, a fireman going into a burning home to save a little girl or a lady bringing blankets to cover people sleeping on the streets. If you aren’t physically able to go out of your home to help someone you can write a check to an organization involved in loving others. And, if you have no money, you can do the greatest thing—You can pray.

Jesus asks us to look at others as highly valued children of God, well worth our time and energy. It’s hard I know because we humans can be so mean sometimes. Some can be hard to love. But if we keep our eyes on Jesus and his love we will know what that command means. He died for all of us, the mean ones or the ones we don’t like very much. Yes, if we only look at what Jesus did for us we will be okay. We will know what love is and we will follow God’s great command.

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