The word ‘love’ is sometimes overused, and is sometimes misunderstood. There are many types of love and in this article we’ll talk about loving your neighbor as yourself. The term neighbor does not only mean your neighbor next door, but all that you don’t know. We are all God’s children and those are the neighbors we speak of here.
Matthew 22:37-40: "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
Sounds simple enough, right! Yes, it is simple to a point if you're not reading the rest of the Bible, or at least attending a really good Bible Study to learn more.
Just what does that passage mean? It means that you love all, without malice, without thoughts or acts of hatred, Christian and non-Christian alike.
- From an Evangelical standpoint, does 'loving thy neighbor' mean condoning his sin? No, it does not.
- Does it mean that they should be allowed to do what ever they want as long as it's legal in the eyes of the secular world? No, according to Scripture, we must correct and guide according to God's word.
- Does "correction or guidance" mean we don't love them? No, absolutely not.
Correction of sin or wrongdoing in must be done carefully. Remembering that we are Christians and also have sin in our lives, we must be careful when approaching these issues. The Christian's life should reflect love for the children of God (Christian or not). We are all God's children, and we all make mistakes. Sometimes we (Christians too) get entangled with sin and biblical disobedience to God and need to be corrected.
If we as Christians didn't correct or guide the wrongs of someone else, would it show our Christian love? Absolutely not!
To love a child (God's children) without correction for their disobedience will only serve to raise the child to adulthood who still doesn't understand right from wrong. In the same manner, if we are not corrected for our biblical disobedience, then we will grow into even more disobedient Christians.
© 2013 by Jake Jones