Tips on How to "One Another": Google it, it's a Thing.
Social media has been a discouraging place as of late. What was a place that would connect the human race, has now become a tool to tear apart friendships and relationships. Yes, I understand that there are a lot of opinions surrounding this political election in 2020, and my goodness, how privileged we are to live in a place that we can express those opinions, kinda, although censorship is on the rise. But friends, my plea to you today, even in the heat of the political battle, is that we not lose sight of this truth: that we ALL are still human deserving of love, dignity, and respect, WHY? Because of the fundamental truth that we are created in the image of God.
And even if the current leadership does not always exemplify kindness and respect toward others (although one must always look at context, as many things now a days are taken out of context), it does not give us permission to treat others in the same manner.
It doesn't matter to me how you've participated: Victim or Instigator. My argument is what matters now is how we move forward to build into and up future relationships. How do we Hooponopono (reconcile) these relationships, because at the end of the day, we will still be neighbors and have opportunities for friendship. Is what happening now really worth breaking relationship over? What would Jesus Do? What did he call us to do? What did he show us by how he lived his life?
I've just finished reading a book by Andy Stanley called Irresistible. It's a must, especially for one struggling with their Christian faith or wrestling with the world of 2020.
I believe we need to get back to the fundamentals that Jesus preached as he walked this earth. I believe for us to have a full relationship with God, it starts by how we treat our neighbor. And who is our neighbor?
"Our neighbor is thus anyone in our proximity with whom we can share God’s love. We are called not only to love those who are similar to us or with whom we are comfortable, but all whom God places in our path. In fact, Jesus said, “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:44–48)."
My heart is to have a better world. And in order to have a better world, it's not about who is in office. It's about each one of us and the condition of our heart.
Guys, I don't think this world is going to get better anytime soon (Debby-downer I know), but I know the promise of Jesus. And when we believe in Him, that means we believe in what he said, stood for, and asked us to do. And when we become a "Christian", or follower of Jesus, that means we follow his lead. And if that means loving someone who hurt us, forgiving someone who said something unkind, so we can mend something that has been broken, then let's do it. I share a personal story at the end of the podcast about someone I had a broken relationship with for 8 years, and just recently God intervened and allowed us to reconcile. What a weight off my heart, and I feel a new sense of freedom!
I don't believe we can Love the Lord our God with all our Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength UNTIL we can LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES. Why do I think the second piece is key to the first piece? Because of Matthew 5:24. Read it. Getting into God's word is essential. Don't just take my word for it.
Hope you enjoy this podcast. I love you all. And I call US out, out of love, because I know we can do better! (know in these Reflections, I'm preaching to the choir)