WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Matthew 22:37-40 NLT
As we prepare for a new year perhaps this is a good time to consider what is really important. Maybe we should simplify things and boil them down to two main objectives for the new year—love God and love others! Sometime—oftentimes—it is easier to love God than it is to love others. It’s not usually hard to love those who are like us. Those who think like us, dress like us, have the same skin tone as us, go to the same church as us, and vote like us. But what about those who are different from us? What about loving those who make life choices that are very different from the life choices we have made or even think are appropriate? How are we supposed to love someone who continually makes self-destructive choices? How are we to love someone who doesn’t love us back? Perhaps we should look at Jesus as our model for loving others. There is that amazing moment when Jesus is hanging on a cross with His body a bloody mess. Scriptures say Jesus was barely recognizable on that cross because of the beatings He had received. His face was swollen and bloody. His back stripped of skin from lashes of a Roman whip. Nails driven into His hands and feet. The act of breathing was painful. He was moments from death when Jesus cried, “Father, forgive them.” If I claim to be a follower of Jesus, I have to reconcile my behavior towards a broken humanity with the way Jesus treated them. Instead of judging and condemning them Jesus forgave them. Jesus loved those who caused Him pain. Is my love that deep? Can I love those who hurt me? Can I forgive? I probably can’t in my flesh. But the person who has been redeemed by the blood of Jesus is a new person. That person can forgive with God’s help. That person can love the unlovely. That person can make a life choice to love God and love others—all the others.
Holy Spirit help me to see others the way You see them. Help me to love as You love.
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