04 May Jesus Teaches Acceptance!
Read Luke 6:32-35
Thought for the Day: Stop overthinking it – Jesus teaches acceptance!
I grew up in a part of the country where the temperature would climb to 0°F on a warm winter day. Growing up in North Dakota, I learned the importance of neighbors. For those who settled the prairie, the closest neighbor was often at least a mile away. Dakota settlers learned that neighbors could be the difference between life or death. In the middle of a blizzard, it didn’t matter how your neighbor voted or lived their life. No matter who your neighbors were, they were people to be relied upon and may even be needed to take you in during a difficult time. Living on the prairie only one thing mattered: neighbors help each other!
One of my fondest childhood memories was a blizzard that came up during a high school basketball game. The announcement was made at the game that it was no longer safe to drive any distance. Since we lived in town, my parents invited a family of five to come stay with us. The storm lingered, and for a few days, I shared my bedroom and our family shared our home. Years later I asked my Dad why they chose that particular family to stay with us. “That’s simple,” he told me, “they needed a safe, warm place to stay. That’s just what neighbors do!”
I often think of how different the world is today compared to the “little world of my hometown” that I grew up in. Too many people spend their time falling into the trap of trying to change others. Jesus taught us to accept everyone and love those who were the most different from us. Even those with whom we completely disagree are our neighbors!
(Luke 6:32-25) “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.
Let’s be honest, it’s easy to love the people we look up to. However, we are Christians. Jesus taught us to love and accept our neighbors even when we disagree with them. For just one day let’s be aware of that moment when we start thinking about how wrong someone else is. When we begin to do this, let’s remember the words of Jesus, “Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return”. Let’s stop overthinking it – Jesus teaches acceptance!