Many of you would be familiar with Mark 12:31 “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” But how many of you can actually say that you live out this commandment? Or rather, how many of you know who your neighbor is? You may have all the right answers but are you living it? Whether you would like to admit it or not we all have filters operating within us. We all have predetermined notions about others or situations that affect the way we view them and the way we treat them. These may be operating consciously or subconsciously within us.
Let us for a minute think of the parable of the Good Samaritan. The lawyer was questioning Jesus and asking him “And who is my neighbor?” Luke 10:29. Jesus then proceeded to tell him the story of the Good Samaritan. He then asked him “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” Luke 10:36 and the lawyer answered and said “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” Luke 10:37. Some of us would not even stop long enough like that Good Samaritan to show mercy or to help anyone else.
There are so many within the body of Christ that struggle with racism. You may not want to admit it openly to others but you know deep down that you do. But do you know that when you enter into Heaven you have to live among all races? You should endeavor to deal with and overcome these issues while on earth because you would be in for quite a surprise when you enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Don’t be too quick to judge others. Someone may come and confess a struggle to you but instead of trying to help out your brother or sister you choose to judge them and question their faith and their Christianity. But who are you to judge anyone? Some of you may even leave the persons to deal with their struggles on their own instead of trying to help them. You may not even take the time to figure out what brought them to that place in their lives. In John 8:15-18 Jesus tells the Pharisees “You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one. And yet if I do judge, My judgment is true; for I am not alone, but I am with the Father who sent Me. It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me.” So if Jesus can say of himself that he judges no one then why should you take it upon yourself to judge someone else’s sin?
IF you may be reading this and receive conviction in your spirit that you are guilty of judging someone instead of trying to help them, reach out to that person. Ask for their forgiveness. Try asking them what you can do to help them. If you may not have received conviction in your spirit, ask the Lord to reveal to you who may need your help today.
When you are reaching out to help this person you may find that you are called to give up some of your happiness and some of your comforts for the betterment of the person. But that’s OK. It won’t kill you to sacrifice some of your happiness for someone else’s comfort. Sometimes God is calling us out of our comfort zone, calling us to be a better person, calling us to show mercy to others. All of this is for our spiritual growth.
You may be reading this and know that you are guilty of some of these things but still won’t make a change. Some of you may think the life you are living is enough to get you into heaven even if you may not love everyone. But how can you say that you love the Lord but don’t love others because of their race, their religion, their status in life, how much money they may or may not have etc? We are called to love everyone. It’s not too late to make a change. It’s not too late to start learning who is your neighbor and loving them despite their circumstances. HIS MERCIES ARE NEW EVERY DAY.