Do you have a Christian love for your neighbor? We all know the story of the Good Samaritan, and how to identify who your neighbor is: the one who treats you with love and compassion. But is that what it really means? Are we just to love those who love us back?
Luke 6:32 (RSV) “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
Christian love is when we show love and compassion to those whom we don’t like, even hate. Christian love is showing love to those who don’t like, or even hate, us.
Recently in Pittsburgh (closest major city to where I live) there was an attack on a synagogue, I’m sure you’ve heard about it in the news. One man with pure hatred in his heart entered the synagogue during services and opened fire. What you might not have heard is that in the aftermath everyone in the community came out to help them with all types of aid. Muslims, Christians, the Rainbow Coalition, bikers, every segment of the community came out to show their support. This is the love that Jesus spoke of, turning out to help your neighbors when they are in need, regardless of what feelings you may have for them, or how they might feel about you.
Love surpasses like. You may not like the person who lives next to you, you may even hate them (for whatever reasons), but when they are in need, are you willing to put it all aside and help? When you speak of them to others, are you able to put aside your feelings and speak kindly of them? Think of them as your children, you might not like how your children turned out, but you’re always going to love them. You can’t help it. They’re part of you. You helped to create them. Even if you don’t like what they’ve become you’re going to love them. God is like that. We are all His children, even when we do the wrong thing He’s going to love us. He can’t do otherwise. He may not like the people we’ve become, but He’s still going to love us. Whether we turn out like Gandhi or Stalin God is going to love us. No matter who we become, if we are in need He will be there for us. If He asks you to help will you be there to show Christian love and compassion?