Won't You Be My Neighbor?

Sunday, October 09, 2011 Posted by Joline

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I'm known for being black and white with my beliefs.

I can get up on a soap box and play a pretty good game of “King of the Mountain” in order to hold my position. I possess some serious upper body strength.

I'm opinionated – let's get that out on the table right now. Only, you've been reading Daily Fast Fuel since it's inception, so I'm assuming you've already gleaned that fact.

This week, allow me to leap up onto that soap box yet again to address an issue that irks my heart every week – daily even.

That is NOT hyperbole.

I've wrestled I wrestle with this area in my own personal life every time I go to open my mouth or place my hands on the keyboard, and hope that my transparency will assist you as you examine your own heart. Especially now, as we prepare to enter the very heated political arena of national elections.

In Jesus Matthew 27:39 Jesus clearly states, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love your neighbor as yourself. Love your neighbor as yourself. (The repeat is MY emphasis.)

Just who does that entail?

Look past the obvious. Past the relationships that are agreeable, like-minded, and comfortable.

Take a look at Jesus' neighbors: the woman at the well, Zacchaeus, lepers, blind men . . . hmmm, certainly not the most highly esteemed of society. 

That is where we will begin – in taking a good look at our neighborhood: locally, globally, and yes, even in FB-land, and how we communicate with them and about them . . . yep. That's the sticky part.

As we do, we'll explore the childhood saying of “Stick and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me", exposing it for the lie that it is. As Christians, our words can either produce a powerful invitation towards love and changed lives, or serve as weapons that isolate "us" from "them". 

Wait! Aren't we supposed to defend our God? Aren't we supposed to insure that His name is upheld? How then can Christians be above reproach when faced with both people and platforms that seem to be counter to our biblical values? (Be prepared . . . I certainly don't have all the answers to those questions.)

I do know that the only example we can follow is that of Jesus.

Let's try to do so. Together.

mailJoline Atkins is your server this week! Find out more about her here and don't forget to sign up for updates by email or RSS before you go.