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Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself

Karen Stevens

Well, most of my life I have not loved myself, so I guess I met that challenge!

When did humanity become so selfish, or have we always been selfish?  In “Jobs” time they had rules to follow so they knew if they had done wrong, or right.  And not that we don’t have rules today, but we have more emotional rules than they did back then.

Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself.  I definitely loved my neighbor as much as me.

But seriously, Job could examine all the things he had done, and knew he had not done wrong in the sight of God, other than thinking he knew God.  Job’s way of thinking was black and white.

Thou shalt not kill – check!

Thou shalt not commit adultery – check!

Thou shalt not steal – check!

Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain – check!

He did not have to think, “was I mean to someone today?”  “Did I love God with all my soul, heart and mind?”  “Was I selfish today?”  “Did I love my enemy?”

Jesus changed the rules.  Not totally, but to more of a grey way of looking at things, instead of black and white.  And based on that way of thinking, Satan has been running rampant thru our minds; creating hurt, offenses that we blow way out of proportion, and us demanding our own way to get thru those hurts and offenses.

The divorce rate shows we are a selfish people.  You don’t like how things are going, just get a divorce.

The work force is another area showing how selfish people are.  You don’t want to work, just let the American people pay you to stay at home.  It’s hard to find people with integrity these days.

James 4 1-3 “What causes fights and quarrels among you?  Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?  You desire but do not have, so you kill.  You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight.  You do not have because you do not ask God.  When you ask, you do not receive because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

We all want what we want, and it doesn’t matter who we hurt.  Oh, I’m sure a lot are saying, well I was very careful not to hurt them.  Hurting someone because you’re doing the right thing is one thing.  Hurting someone because you are selfish, is another.

We have all done something in our life that has directly affected someone else.  I still remember as a teenager making plans with a semi-friend.  We purchased tickets to Cancun, Mexico.  About two weeks before we were to leave, I backed out.  My then boyfriend did not want me to go, so silly me, I didn’t go.  I still remember the conversation with this girl.  She was so hurt and angry.  These days, I try just to tell people no, I can’t do whatever they are asking of me.  Not that I haven’t made plans and backed out, but I really try not to do that.

Fast forward to dating my husband.  I had made plans to go skiing with a friend in Colorado, and my boyfriend (now my husband) did not want me to go without him.  He could not come because we were staying at a friend’s house of my friend.  I did not back out this time.  Lesson learned.

It’s ok to make a mistake, but we really should learn from it.

God will send us around and around Mount Sinai like He did the Israelites, until we get it right or die!

Romans 7:23 states – “23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.”

Take control of your attitudes.  Yes, you can do this.  It’s difficult, but it can be done.

As Eleanor Roosevelt observed, “No one can hurt you without your consent.”

And in the words of Gandhi, “They cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them.”  “It is our willing permission, our consent to what happens to us, that hurts us far more than what happens to us in the first place.”

 

Karen Y. Stevens, Executive Director for Meals on Wheels