Matthew 22:36-40 - Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
Today it was a great and busy day at NBUMC. We started the day by washing cars at a temperature of 94F degrees; but after hearing what those little children of God are going through in Kenya, I would do it again even if someone would add another 100 degrees to the day.
Honestly, it should be embarrassing to try to think that I’m a “good” person because I sacrificed some of my time, resources or physical work for the goodness of someone else in need. The definition or evaluation of “good people” is based on our moral and social standards, and they not only change from region to region, or culture to culture, but they are not necessarily scripturally based.
Jesus didn’t encourage his disciples or followers to be good people; actually non of the prophets of the old or new testament ever revealed a word from God that instruct people to be good. Even those that instructed the people to obey the law didn’t use the term ‘good’. Jesus’ and God’s intentions for humanity is that we LOVE others.
2000 years after those words “Love your neighbor as yourself”, we as humans have created exceptions, rules, standards, qualifications and many other types of distinctions in order to love another human being. (This has absolutely been without biblical support). We have shifted those words and convinced ourselves that we may not need to love them, but just be ‘good’ with them.
We ended the day at NBUMC by hosting a banquet to our brothers and sisters of Restore and the Seminole Spirit Group. It was a great evening and a lot of volunteers from the church made that possible.
What really struck me during the reception, were the words of one of the members of Restore and probably a church member if not a constant visitor. His words were: “I’m thankful with this church, because as a difference with many other churches they accept us”. (For those that do not know what Restore is and what he was meaning; Restore is an organization that treats people that have suffered severe accidents and therefore have special needs).
Someone may think that we are “good people” because we have accepted the people from Restore and other churches don’t. First of all, our accountability to God is not measured by what other churches are doing, but of what we are doing according to our call. Secondly, we are not meant to accept, tolerate or be good with people, we are meant to love them.
Therefore, it was a great day at NBUMC because we as a church are moving in a direction based on loving people and not just simply reflecting that we are good people.
Dear God, please enable us to love others in the same way and measure that you love us, and nothing less.