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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Love Others

JEAN SAID:

Lord, it seems that as we get older we start thinking backwards more and more. What I mean is, we reminisce more. Maybe it's some unconscious attempt to connect with the next generation that causes us to look back on ours or something like that.

I remember when my sisters and I were growing up we played with the other girls in our neighborhood every minute we could. We had this thing that, if two kids said the same exact word(s) at the same exact time we'd race to see who could say, "Jinx. You owe me a Pepsi!" first. I don't think I ever actually got a Pepsi out of the deal. But it was fun to see who could say it first, and who owed whom the most Pepsi-s.

Romans 13:1 made me think of that game, Lord. "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law."

It echoes the words of Jesus in Matthew 22:39, "...Love your neighbor as yourself."

I think the primary principle Paul is discussing here isn't that we shouldn't be in financial debt. Rather, he's saying that love is the greater principle. Loving others isn't an option for us as Christians. Loving other Christians. Loving our family members. Loving our neighbors. Loving our friends, our co-workers, our bosses, our employers, our teachers - none of these are negotiable.

Paul says the Lord expects us to love police officers and government officials - those who have power & authority over us - even the evil ones. He expects us to love people we've never met - people who live on the other side of the tracks, and the other side of the world, from us. People who hate us and seek to destroy us.

The principle is that we must love our fellow humans. Even those who are rude. Or cruel. Or ugly.

How do I love someone who has no social conscience, Lord? How do I love someone whose world view is the total opposite of mine? How do I love someone whose lifestyle is repulsive to me? How do I love someone who wants to destroy other human beings simply because they aren't like him or her? How do I love someone whose actions prove that he/she is evil to the core?

Does that kind of love even exist in the depths of who I am?

GOD SAID:

Did you read all the way to the end of that section in your Bible, Little One? Did you see verse 14? As I whispered in his ear Paul wrote these words, "Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ..." How would your feelings for others who share the planet with you change if you consciously put on Christ like you consciously get dressed each morning?

Would you see them any differently? Would you be better able to love past their hate? Would you be better able to forgive their faults? Would you look out over the sea of humanity and weep for those who have rejected Me? For those who have never even heard of Me?

That kind of love does exist - in the depths of Who I am.