Love your neighbors as yourself

God has become so politicized, so divisive, so exclusive and so separatist that He has lost His identity. Part of the Church has redefined God and has given Him a manmade identity that many people have accepted and have loved. God is being brought down to a human level in the media and in some churches. If you belong to the “wrong political party” you can’t possibly be a Christian according to many believers. Since when is God meant to wear a political hat? Since when is God meant to exclude and divide people? Jesus’ central message is about love. We can’t know Jesus if we don’t know love. Being theological savvy shouldn’t equate with knowing God if love is out of the equation. “Love thy neighbor as yourself” is a command that will never go away. There shouldn’t be a 2018 version of that command with a twist. In 2018 the command sounds more like “Love the neighbors that are just like you” and that is such a perverted version of the love command. If love can’t start with the Church today where are we supposed to find it? Love started with the Head of the Church, our Lord, and it continues with you and me. Let’s not stifle the flow of love by filtering it through our human prejudices and our personal views. Let’s learn to love our neighbors again, any neighbor, and teach the world how to love again.

LOVING THE “UNLOVABLE” IS NOT A CRIME

Too many crimes have been committed in the name of love. Too many lives have been destroyed because of a false representation of love. Our society has categorized people and ranked them according to world standards. We tend to love those who are just like us and we ostracize those who are different. We put groups of people in an “unlovable” category because of a sin we can’t forgive or simply because we don’t understand what makes them different from us. I am generalizing here and it sounds wrong but it doesn’t appear to be that wrong when gratuitous violence is rampant. Rejection of others should make us sick. Discrimination should make us sad. Segregation of any sort should not be Ok. Hate of any form should be loathed. Loving those that the masses hate should never be a problem. Love is never a crime. No one should ever be shamed for loving the unwanted ones or the different ones!

ALL OUR NEIGHBORS DESERVE LOVE

When Jesus healed the sick, He didn’t discriminate. He let everyone come to Him. His love was so strong that it was and still is universal. God’s love is color-blind. God’s love is gender-blind. God’s love is religious-blind. God’s love is difference-blind. God’s love gives everyone a chance. It is available for every single person who has ever walked the earth. The neighbor that you can’t stand is entitled to God’s love. The person whose preferences you can’t understand is entitled to God’s love. The neighbor whose language sounds like gibberish to you is entitled to God’s love. The fellow who sins differently from you is entitled to God’s love. As a believer you have God’s love. It has been shed in your heart and you are to be a fountain of that love. Distribute it selflessly. Be generous with that love. All your neighbors deserve that love. Start a love movement in your neighborhood. Start a God movement in your neighborhood. Let your love rewrite the definition of God and help bring down the walls of separation that were never built by the Lord. Love your neighbors as yourself!

Suggested reading: Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31; 1 Corinthians chapter 13

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