37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself."
I added an extra love in the title because I didn't like the way two loves looked. I love this passage. It really shows how simple it is. Is it really simple to love though? I mean most of us will say we have the love God thing down. Loving our neighbor as ourself is a much more difficult task. First of all, who is our neighbor? Is it the person that lives next to us? If you look at the Greek, the word for neighbor is plēsion and it means everyone that is not you. Now that I have cleared that up, it's confession time. I'll admit in the past, I have had the urge to rear end someone with different political beliefs or fans of my favorites teams rivals. Thankfully I had enough control to not do it! In this current age of social media, most are freely speaking their opinions no matter how divisive they are. The most heartbreaking part is the church. To some, we can agree to disagree on doctrinal differences. Others just want to win an argument. We live in a "If you don't agree with me, my first response is anger!" kind of world. Where's the love? Why is it so hard to love? Why is it the ministries I see displaying the best examples of loving others are the ones that are getting attacked? People will say they are just exposing false teachers. However, if you read the Gospels, they are the ones that look like Jesus and the accusers are the ones that look a lot like the Pharisees. Maybe that's another blog though?
Let's get back to the church though. The Center for Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary says there are 47,000 evangelical protestant denominations. Wow! A lot of these denominations work together, but many don't "play well together". Jesus said a house divided against itself cannot stand (Mark 3:25). From my perspective, the church is the most divided thing on this planet! The only answer to reconcile is to love. I find it hard to believe that any group has perfect doctrine. Let's have humility when speaking to people who believe a little (or a lot) different than us. Let's seek God about areas to love others well.