Often times we let our emotions and feelings determine how we treat others.
It says in Leviticus 19:18, “Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.”
We live in a world that is culturally diverse and with that comes challenges as to how we relate and understand one another. At times it can force you to stay within your own environment because it feels safe. At the same time, you are sheltering yourself from others that can cause you, and me, to put up barriers without realizing it. Jesus came to show us how to love and treat one another.
There have been times when I thought to myself, why did I love a particular person? Is it because of who they are? Is it because I have invested time in them? Is it because of the God in me? Why can’t my love be genuine all the time? My love seems to be conditional. It is something that I need to work on, and rely upon Christ to love unconditionally. But if you don’t love yourself, how can you love others for who they are? We all have character flaws. We can become critical and judgmental, like we have our stuff together. In fact, we are far from being, ‘all together’, if we have that mindset. When we respond with love, when our hearts are aching due to the circumstances, or negitive events in our lives, the Holy Spirit will fill us with love so then we can give love. Jesus sat down with the poorest of sinners showing love, and Paul describes himself as a slave to Christ; obeying what Christ says by encouraging and expressing love always. We are being tested more frequently than we can imagine.
We can’t let circumstances dictate how we treat one another. So how do we allow Jesus’ light to transcend in this unpredictable world when we’re supposed to show grace to others? It’s by faith and trusting in Him.
Do something for someone who needs help. Invest one day at a time and commit to living better each day. Our commitment to others is a direct correlation to our commitment to Christ. If our commitment to Christ is broken, our relationships and attitudes will be broken also. Let’s build up and edify one another to be productive in our spiritual journey.
Tough times will come, and our Father who knows us, will allow Satan to test and temp us, the same way He allowed Satan to test Job. Job acknowledged daily that God was responsible for what he had. He knew that his power came from God. God gave him spiritual discernment, so he didn’t make emotional decisions based upon feelings. He was also thankful for what the Lord blessed him with. The Lord giveth and taketh away. Job didn’t let circumstances change his view of God’s grace and love for him.
Hebrews 12:1 says, Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
That weight and sin can be any stronghold in our lives that has power to diminish our self-perception and prevent us living free in Christ. There’s no place for self-righteousness, and we don’t have time to be fearful in how we live. Have confidence in who your Father is. Pray to God for strength and power to love how He loved, and invest in others who most people would deny. We are the chosen, for change; to be that glimpse of light in the world, in the lives of those who are surrounded by darkness.