what's the point? - loving others

Ok, last point in my "what's the point?" series.

Loving others - Unfortunately loving God through our worship and care for one another can often lead to a distorted view of the greatest commandment. We forget the “love your neighbor” part. And sadly, our churches can easily make this mistake. Is the whole purpose of our faith to make ourselves feel better about ourselves? Is that really what Jesus taught?

"And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"

"Is like it…" Notice Jesus doesn’t say loving our neighbor comes next, or later, or if you have time. Loving your neighbor comes NOW – it accompanies loving God. And so our church programs should reflect Jesus’ teaching. And so hungry folks in a local park, or children in Africa with dirty drinking water, or strangers in line at the grocery store, or the hospital-bound cancer patient who sits alone waiting for treatment, or the rough-around-the-edges recovering drug addict whom we often cross the street to avoid, how we relate to these folks – these hurting people all around us – reflects our faithfulness as the people of God.

But do we enough? How much of our energy gets put towards loving God and each other in relation to loving others? Do we simply check loving others off of some sort of imaginary list of spiritually good works, or do we constantly wrestle with how to meet the needs of our neighbors as a fundamental part of loving God as his people? In our comfortable lives, we can all do more, not out of guilt or on our own strength, but as we are empowered by God’s call on our lives as the people of God. We can’t forget this!

Well, in sum, the church is the people of God – a community formed through the call of Jesus Christ on our lives to be a representation of God to this world. Not at the expense of a personal faith – an experience of Christ’s salvation in our individual lives – but the recognition that a personal experience of God finds its fullness in community as we seek together to love God and love others fully.

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