09 July 2018

Won’t You be My Neighbor ~ Different Morals and Values

Greetings Dear Reader,

One of our natural reactions is to shun people with morals and values that differ from ours. Differences can make us uncomfortable and we follow the wrong path.  We may just avoid them.  We may choose to protest against them.  Sometimes we go so far as to imprison them, deny them rights, and persecute them. 

No matter what your excuse none of this is loving a neighbor.  We cannot legislate, prosecute, or persecute others into our way of thinking or belief.  Humans will do as they choose.  They have free will and no human can control that.

Knowing that nothing oppressive works we are left with a choice.  How are we going to treat others that differ from us in our morals and values?  If I hope to follow Christ well the answer is simple.  I must treat them like a neighbor, with love.  I must love my neighbor no matter how I feel about his or her morals and values.  Let that sink in for a moment.

The command to love your neighbor is not couched in qualifiers.  There is no “unless” attached.  We do that.  We fill the command with our own baggage.  We water it down to exclude those who we dislike, make us uncomfortable, or even hate.  We choose to claim we are loving when we are not. 

What then is the answer for me as a Christ follower?  I have very exclusive morals and values.  There are things that I believe to be wrong, full stop.  I am not wrong to believe those things.  I am wrong to discount, disavow, or disrespect anyone who differs from me.  It is my obligation to love my neighbor. 

In light of that I choose to treat my neighbors with love and kindness.  I am privileged to have neighbors who differ from me greatly.  I have forged an interaction with them that is kind and friendly.  That is what we need to do for each other.  That is how we should be as humans.  So, if you are different from me, I ask you, please won’t you be my neighbor?

Wishing you joy in the journey,

Aramis Thorn
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
(͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

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