Thursday, January 26, 2017

No Exceptions!

This past Friday we swore in our 45th President of the United States. And it seems like every time we get a new President there is more controversy than the last.  It is okay to have different opinions and different ways of dealing with things - that is the foundation of our country - but when that difference of opinion spills over into anger and disrespect we have a problem.

"A new command I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another."  John 13:34

If I asked you if you were a loving person, you would probably answer yes.  You love your family, your spouse, your children and the people you are close to.  You even love a stranger when they are in need.  But do you really love everyone?  And do you love them with the love of Jesus?

That is the one that got me.  You see, I am from the south.  We are the epitome of  love or at least the appearance of love.  We say "Bless your heart" when sometimes we really mean just the opposite.  We give a head nod to a stranger in the grocery store when sometimes we are really thinking "get out of my way."  I now live in the north where everyone is very straight forward even to the point of being rude.  But where we need to land is somewhere in the middle.  We need to be honest about how we feel, but make sure that our feelings and actions are rooted in love.  And not just any love, but the love of Jesus.

Have you ever studied Jesus - I mean really studied Jesus.  This is what it will take to really understand what he means when he says "As I have loved you..."  Jesus didn't just talk and be kind to Christians and the "good" people or even just the people who agreed with him.  He loved everyone - Christians, sinners, prostitutes, criminals, thieves.  He loved everyone - no exceptions.  And this is what he is commanding us to do.  One of my most used phrases is "We will have to agree to disagree."  I don't have to agree with you to love you.  I don't even have to be your friend to be kind to you when I see you.  I simply need to love you with the same love that Jesus loves me with.  That's all.  No exceptions.

"Kind words are like honey - sweet to the soul and healthy for the body."  Proverbs 16:24 NLT

Be kind to everyone - whether they dress like you, belong to the same political party as you, pull for the same football team as you; whether they are mean to you, talk rudely to you, believe something you don't.  We are all unique; we are all God's children; and we have been instructed by Jesus himself to love one another with the same love he gives to us.  No exceptions!

Have a blessed week and we love you!