The greatest suggestion

October 22, 2009

So what is it we are supposed to do when our neighbors do things that we disagree with. I went to the Gospel of Luke to find the answer, this is what Jesus said:

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Argue with your neighbor until he agrees with you.’there is no commandment greater than these.”

No, I don’t think that is quite it.

: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: Criticize your neighbor so he feels bad about himself.’ there is no commandment greater than these.”

No that not it either. Maybe…

” Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Turn your neighbor into a clone of yourself.’ there is no commandment greater than these.”

Perhaps…

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘ignore your neighbor if he doesn’t shape up.’ there is no commandment greater than these.”

We are supposed to LOVE our neighbors. And here is something I know…I have never had someone draw closer to God because I won an argument. I have NEVER been able to bully someone into believing like me. I have never, ever been able to berate, belittle or cajole someone into following Jesus. But HAVE loved people into the kingdom.

There are some very fine Christian organizations out there that do really great things for God, but have lost the ability to reach the lost because they are always telling the world what is wrong with them. In an attempt to keep Christian on the right path (a noble cause) they have alienated people who do not walk the straight and narrow path. As much as I believe that I need to live a holy life, I can’t, so trying to convince someone they should do something i can’t do is not only futile, it is (I believe) the wrong thing to do.

Jesus told us the most important thing for us to do is to love God whole-heartedly; and to love others as we love ourselves. His final words were similar; in essence, we are to tell everyone we can about God’s love for us. His final words were not an admonition to tell people to change their way of living but to change their way of believing. To tell people that they are loved by the Creator of the universe.

The Holy Spirit does a much better job of convicting and convincing people to change their habits. We would do well to love the way we have been loved; that WILL draw people toward Christ better than any argument we could make.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’there is no commandment greater than these.” Luke 10:26-28

This wasn’t a suggestion.

Skyline Drive - Shenndoh 05-08 103

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