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Like Your Neighbor

Weekly Devotionals

Like Your Neighbor

Luke 10: 27

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

As a mother, I know that there is no greater love on Earth as there is between a mother and a child.  It’s been my privilege to be a mother and get a glimpse of the Father’s love for us, His children.  However, as a mother of adolescents, loving them can be hard work.  My husband and I noticed that the number of contentious conversations we were having with our kids had been increasing. Adolescence is a phase in everyone’s life when mental and physical capabilities grow drastically, but there is still a lack of maturity and good judgment. So with the desire to teach, I found myself nagging my kids. This nagging soon turned into disapproval and more fighting. I was ready to throw my hands up and hope that in a few years this phase would pass.  That’s when I read this great blog post.  The crux of the message is that we are all taught that God loves us, but does God like us?  The answer is a resounding yes, of course.  We hear that God loves us so often that, in my opinion, the weight of its truth has been lost.  We say to one another, believers and non-believers, God loves you.  We love our parents, our children, our siblings, and friends.  Have you ever stopped to ask yourself, do you like them?  I’m sure everyone has a parent or sibling or friend whom they love, but don’t necessarily like. I think the reason we sometimes treat the people we “love”, the most badly is because, in the back of our minds, we love them, so no matter what we do, it’s ok.  I think this is an important question to ask if we are to truly love our neighbor as ourselves.  Back to my kids – I stopped and asked myself, do I like my children?  Truthfully, there are things that I do not like about them.  Nevertheless, this exercise has helped me to declare, very specifically, I do not like X, but I still love them.  Inversely, I can say I like X, Y, Z about my children, love them even more and affirm them.  Now applying this to newcomers at church or at work, in order to like someone, you really do need to get to know them.  It isn’t enough to just think or say, I love you, in Jesus’ name.  So I challenge you today to like your neighbor.  This will take some time and effort, but it will definitely have an impact on your relationships.