"A new command I give to you. Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35
What a great day to talk about loving people...even you those you don't want to love! As you gather today for the holiday, there is BOUND to be some tension. Family gatherings can be a blessing, but they can also be a time when people who don't see each other very often can't seem to get along too.
In Mark 12:28-31 Jesus lays it on the line...we are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. (Notice that we are to love God FIRST, the our neighbors, and ourselves LAST)
Jesus also give us instruction on just HOW to love our neighbors...clothe yourself with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience and be tolerant with one another and forgive as the Lord has forgiven you. (Hmmmm....I wonder why so many Christians don't like the word tolerant when Jesus himself taught us that is how we are to be? Hmmmm....Sorry for the personal commentary!)
Jesus also teaches in many of the gospels that we are to love our enemies and those who persecute us. Luke 6:27-36 says we are to do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you and pray for those who mistreat you...and then the famous turn the other cheek.
Romans 12:17-21 Tells us we are NOT to repay a wrong with a wrong and DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO LIVE IN PEACE WITH EVERYONE.
I know it sounds "pie in the sky" and very "Pollyanna-ish" of me...but what if we ALL lived THAT way...where we tried our hardest to live in PEACE with everyone??? I know we can't let people take advantage of us...but we can stop griping and complaining about our work, our families, our government, immigrants, those on welfare, homeless, other people's kids, the state of the country and the world...WHAT IF....
Let's start small...just for today...if one of your family members annoys you today...turn the other cheek and try NOT to spout off...Think about what you have to be thankful for and forget the bitterness...just for today!
I'm praying a peaceful and restful holiday for you all...Try to eat as healthy as possible...or at least smaller portions!