Love Thy Neighbor?

by TXBullFrog

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.  Matthew 5:43-48

I have a question for you. Do you love your fellow man? Go ahead and write your answer down and save it for later. Here is a follow up question. Do you show it? Again, write your answer down and save it for later. You may be wondering where this is going. If you give me a few minutes of your time, and don’t mind if I ramble a bit, then you will see. Most who know me know that I used to be heavy into the political world. I devoted a large portion of my life to following it and doing everything I could to further educate about our founding and trying to reveal what this country should be doing to those who were ignorant of any of it. If you have lived that life, you know that a lot of times you are beating your head against a brick wall. But it is a noble mission, so you press on.

But then something happened. The 2016 elections happened, and nothing has been the same since. Now all of you who are reading this are probably aware of how things have progressed since then, so I won’t bore you with the details. But there is one thing I have to mention. It is a glaring, flashing red, siren sounding problem that has taken the political world by storm. We, and yes, I include myself in this, do not act towards each other as we should. A lot of people who claim to be Christian are not setting a good example. Now I understand, feelings are hard. Many have been called everything that others can think of. And the fire is coming from all sides. But is this doing anything? Yes, it is.

It is greatly dividing us. We are nation that at one time put God first. But of course, in today’s world that subject is taboo. And our nation has suffered from it. The lack of God and His influence on our lives can be seen in a lot of places. From the top down in this country there is a rot. From the highest position down to the lowest. Even how we interact with each other is severely lacking the love of God. And when I say the love of God, I don’t mean His love for us. I mean us acting towards each other showing a godly love. To love the way He loves.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  1 John 4:11

We love Him because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.  1 John 4:19-21

Now, I am not calling any individual out, nor do I intend to. Honestly, I don’t care what you did in the voting booth in the election. Nor do I care what anyone else did. You are accountable to God first, yourself second, and unless you committed a crime, no one else. And voting for, not voting for, or not voting at all is NOT a crime. No one must justify what they did that day to anyone else. No matter what anyone else might think, you don’t have to. All I am trying to do is simply point out a problem. If you never address an issue, there can never be any healing. We are broken. We have lost site of what is truly important and instead resort to lobbing attacks at each other because we know that we are right, and they are wrong. Well guess what, the other side feels the exact same way as you do. But because some do not agree with us, does not mean we should lash out with contempt and disgust. With what is being said towards one another, is it any surprise that hate is being built up?

Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  Ephesians 4:31

Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.  Proverbs 10:12

And all those zings and jabs that you are throwing around thinking you are getting somewhere?

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.  1 Corinthians 13:1

It is not helping. Because as long as you continue to speak like this, the other side will never hear you. They will never come around to seeing your point of view. And the division will remain.

The enemy is loving every minute of this. The vultures are circling overhead as I write. We have got to stop this. We have to put this behind us. We have to move on or things will never heal. Some may not want a healing. But if most search their hearts, I believe they would say they do. The thing is, we must first get over ourselves. You are not always right. I am not always right…as much as I don’t like to admit that. But having our noses stuck up in the air so high that we are breathing jet exhaust will solve nothing.

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  Philippians 2:3-4

If you have read my previous articles, you are probably wondering why this one isn’t as encouraging as the last few have been. Well rest assured, there is encouragement. We do not have to continue down this destructive path. We can change. Every one of us is capable of it. Will it happen overnight? No. But that doesn’t mean we should throw our hands up in the air and give up. Maybe it takes a little while. But if someone doesn’t start, how will it ever happen? I too have got caught up in the throwing of insults and barbs at my fellow man over all of this. But I have realized that it isn’t the way that God would have us act.

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.  Ephesians 4:32

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.  Ephesians 5:2

So back to my two questions. Do you love your fellow man? Do you show it? I wonder if your answers have changed since you first wrote them down. Mine did. That is why I wanted to address this problem. I want to have fellowship with my fellow man. I want to have fellowship with my parents where the relationship is estranged. And what I realize is that with the teachings of God, it is possible. We can show love. It doesn’t mean you have to like everything that someone says or does. But you can still love them. There is not a single perfect person on this planet. That includes you and that includes me. But we can strive to be like our Father and Savior and show love. Especially when it is needed so much now.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13

And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”  1 Peter 4:8

God bless.

Editor update,

This article is such a needed message, and while I hope somehow more folks see it, I want to thank everyone at the News Blender for sharing it over there. Especially Steve for adding his own thoughts on the same subject.  Taken from two different yet shared viewpoints, they prove that there are more things we have in common with each other than many would have us believe.  We need to keep sharing that until folks realize it too. 
Thank you TX and Steve both!  And to read Steve’s article, you can check it out here…