I’ve been a “born again” Christian for 30 years. I’ve learned a lot over the past 3 decades, but I’m not quite “there” yet. I’m in good company, as stated by the apostle Paul: “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead” Phillippians 3:13 New International Version.
My spiritual growth is important to me. I want to use the time God has blessed me with wisely. What one thing can I do to make the most difference overall in my life and in the lives of others? I’ve spent the Advent season praying about this and I have received an answer.
Love. Like. Jesus.
If I “strain toward” this one thing, how might 2022 look for me and the people in my sphere of influence? How important is it to love like Jesus? Pretty important actually. When asked by a Pharisee: “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus responded: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (I’m working on this too….not as easy as you think to focus solely on things not of this world) And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself”. Matthew 22: 36-39 NIV
Love my neighbor as myself. Every neighbor. Even the ones I hide from when I see them in the grocery store. Who is a neighbor? If I take it in the literal dictionary sense “neighbor” would be those who live and/or work in close proximity to me. Knowing my Lord as I do, He means anyone (and everyone) who is in proximity to me (or potentially so) at any given time. EVERYONE is my neighbor.
Now that I’ve determined who I must love like Jesus, I must work on the how.
I’ll pray on that and get back to you.