Jesus doesn’t mince words with this one, he wants us to radically, non-traditionally love others. He did this while on earth by spending time, serving and healing others. How do we do this today? It can look very different in the many types of relationships that you have; loving your spouse needs to be extra special, holy and set apart from the love that you show anyone else. The love for your children looks very different through the years, from keeping them safe and cared for early on, to hearing and respecting them as teens and young adults. Those folks that God has placed in your path at the office or in your neighborhood can experience a radical love from you in the form of truly caring about their needs and actively praying for them. This has been very difficult for me in the past.
So, who is your neighbor? How can you love on them in a new way today? I work in a restaurant with people I would probably never meet otherwise; we run in different circles and our choices of how we spend our time and money are very different. When talk turns to the latest conquests/parties/weekend, I try to busy myself to keep from appearing smug or worse, from saying something judgmental. I don’t fit in and they know it, but I am someone they come to when they have questions about big issues. I feel like my real job there is to love on my co-workers. Sometimes that means answering tough questions, sometimes it is jumping in and doing their jobs for them, and a lot of times it is just being there without an agenda. I am trying to rely on God to decide who is in my neighborhood.