Do you love your “illegal” neighbor? Do you love your Muslim neighbor? Do you love your homeless neighbor? Do you love your prostitute neighbor? Do you love your Buddhist neighbor? Do you love your Latin American neighbor? Do you love your gay neighbor? Do you love your African American neighbor? Do you love your pre-born neighbor? Do love your mentally ill neighbor? Do you love your orphan neighbor? Do you love your Asian neighbor? Do you love your unreached neighbor? Love your poor neighbor? Do you love your _______ neighbor?
Do we actually love all our neighbors? Or have we told ourself that it’s ok to ignore or even hate certain “types” of neighbors? No like for real... some people who call themselves Christians actually hate some of the neighbors I mentioned above.
Maybe you don’t think that you hate your neighbors but your thoughts, words, and actions say otherwise...
Maybe you think refugees should return to their countries only to live in danger or be murdered. Maybe you’ve thought all Muslims are terrorist and we should wage war against them. Maybe you haven’t helped that homeless man because he could use the money for drugs. Maybe you see a prostitute and the first thing that comes to mind is how much God must hate her. Maybe you have have come across a Buddhist person and acted as if they are nothing more then someone to stare at. Maybe you ok with Latin American’s being locked up in cages for seeking asylum. Maybe you only see gay people as hell bound sickos instead of human beings who don’t know Christ yet. Maybe you are ok with cops stopping people with darker skin color because they are “more likely to be criminals.” Maybe you don’t act like the 3000 preborn children being murdered everyday is a full on Holocaust. Maybe you think mental illness can only be because of sin. Maybe you couldn’t care less about children who are without families. Maybe you avoid eating at Chinese restaurants now because of the coronavirus. Maybe you think the unreached people groups are too difficult to care about. Maybe you have make your poor neighbor into nothing more then a project.
What does it look like to love your neighbor? Maybe it’s welcoming in the refugees fleeing from their country trying find a hope and future. Maybe it’s seeing the prostitute as someone who is broken, abused, and likely trafficked in someway. Maybe it’s treating that gay person as any other stranger and showing them freedom found only in Christ. Maybe it’s listening to what African American’s are saying and then changing your view, thoughts, and actions. Maybe it’s acting like the smallest and most helpless humans are actually being murdered by the thousands each day. Maybe it’s learning about the 2 billion people who have never had the opportunity to hear the name of Christ and then finding away you can take part in reaching them.
It’s really not that hard. Let’s tear down the walls of hate we’ve built up and start loving people with real love that only comes from the God who first loved us!!!!
I could say so much more but I’ll end with what the Bible says...
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” - 1 Corinthians 13:1-8