Monday, August 1, 2016

In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment it. Jesus responds, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’"

It saddens me to think that there is so much hatred in the world. War, oppression, neglect, violence, abuse, racism, and trash talk all stem from hatred. As Christians, we should be practicing what Jesus teaches us, simply put: love God, love others. Yet all too often, we get swept away by the social talk of the day and pulled into to living and acting in ways that are contrary to God’s love. While I recognize that not everything can be solved by loving others and loving God, I do know that it can make a difference in our own lives and in the lives that are around us. If we can live our lives exemplifying love to God and neighbor, its effect on others will be noticed.

A friend of mine from years ago once told me how he had this coworker with a bad attitude. Everyone at the office either ignored him or dismissed him. He was not a nice guy to be around. As part of a challenge program at church, my friend decided to be nice to him and start treating him like he would want to be treated. It didn’t take long until this guy actually changed his attitude toward my friend and they ended up being friends. Yet had my friend not made the effort to be kind to him, the other man would have never changed his attitude. Loving others and loving God can and does make a difference! I think of the song line, “let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.” We need to take this one step further and say, “Let there be love on earth and let it begin with me.”

It’s hard to believe 2018 is already here!  Time sure seems to fly sometimes.  2017 was a year filled with many ups and downs, joys and sorr...