“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them.” – Romans 12:9 NLT
This is so simple, yet we as Christians mess up SO bad. Whether it’s blatantly being completely fake to one another, being honestly mean, or the one we often forget: neglect. Neglect, in my opinion, is the worst. Yea you weren’t being mean or unloving to someone, but you noticed that no one was being nice or loving and you chose to be one of those no ones. You chose to ignore the unloved person, the weird person, the person going through a tough situation that may be ‘awkward’ to deal with. That’s, in my opinion, just as bad as if you were mean/unloving to them.
God calls us to love: the unlovable, the unloved, the widows, the orphans, the black, the white, the asian, the hispanic, the children, the elders, the parents, and on and on and on…..EVERYONE.
As Christians, sometimes, we have decided it’s okay to put people in boxes and decide which box is “most loveable” or “least loveable” or “someone else can love this box”. that’s sick. and unacceptable. oftentimes, things such as this step on toes because we hear the analogy “we’re one big church, we have different parts, some parts are better at some things than others.” this is true, but when it comes to loving others, we don’t get to sit back and say “well i’m not good at loving ‘that kind’ of person, someone else might be”, we are called to love EVERYONE. the same.
30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” -Mark 12:30-31
This verse does not mean you can categorize people or justify being unloving to certain kinds of people. It means love EVERYONE as God loved us, and that’s a lot. “Neighbor” doesn’t mean the person you feel like loving, it means your fellow humans. There is no way around it.
I’ve been redundant here, but, lately, i’ve felt so strongly about this. Loving others is not something we can categorize, change, shirk around, make up excuses for, we are called to LOVE.
Racism is not love
teasing is not love
judgement is not love
neglect is not love
gossip is not love
physical abuse is not love
smite is not love
GOD IS LOVE, so what’s it gonna be?
Here’s the rest of the verse from Romans about our call and God’s role
Don’t just pretend that you love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Stand on the side of the good. 10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.11 Never be lazy in your work, but serve the Lord enthusiastically. 12 Be glad for all God is planning for you. Be patient in trouble, and always be prayerful. 13 When God’s children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner or, if they need lodging, for the night. 14 If people persecute you because you are a Christian, don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. 15 When others are happy, be happy with them. If they are sad, share their sorrow. 16 Live in harmony with each other. Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all! 17 Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. 18 Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. 19 Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, “I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it,” says the Lord.