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Loving ALL our neighbors, because we NEED them. 
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Joined: Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:55 pm
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I hope this doesn't seem too self-promotey. But I recently shared some of my thoughts on facebook, and it seemed to resonate with a lot of people, so I thought I'd share them here as well. I hope you find them thought-provoking and uplifting:

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We have been commanded to love our neighbor. But how far are we really willing to go in applying this, the second great commandment, to loving those around us? Do we love only those who love us back? Those who are convenient or easy to love? Are we superficial in our love towards those we disagree with or don't understand? Do we love them in word only, then neglect to show our love through our actions?

Do we sometimes see loving others--including those who may seem difficult to love--as some sort of unpleasant obligation? Or do we really want it? Do we trust God enough to open our hearts to everyone, not just those who are most like us?

All of God's commandments were given to us for our benefit. He has commanded us to love everyone, not just because they need our love, but because WE NEED THEM. We need them, no matter how different from us they may appear, and no matter how difficult the task of loving them may at first seem. If we will try, we will find that each one has something they can teach us, if we will humble ourselves enough to be teachable.

We need our atheist brothers and sisters. They teach us to show love and kindness to others without being motivated by the promise of reward; not even an eternal reward.

We need our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters. They teach us to love and accept one another unconditionally, even when we live very different lifestyles or disagree on deeply important and personal issues.

We need our brothers and sisters who have different political beliefs than ours. They teach us to seek understanding, to keep an open mind, to consider alternate points of view, and to show respect for one another, even if we still disagree.

We need our brothers and sisters who have left the Church. They teach us patience and continued selfless service, even when they show no sign of returning. Because it's not about regaining a lost member; it's about making sure no one is left without a friend.

We need our brothers and sisters who struggle with addictions of all kinds. They teach us that the battle against sin is very real and requires constant vigilance and support from loved ones.

We need our brothers and sisters who have committed serious misdeeds, including against the commandments of God and the laws of the land. They teach us that there is a human soul in every one of us, no matter how low we may have fallen, and that no one is beyond hope of redemption.

We need our brothers and sisters who struggle with their faith. They teach us that our testimonies require constant nourishment through prayer, study, and fellowship.

We need all of our brothers and sisters, no matter how lowly they may appear. All of us are going through this mortal experience together. All of us have unique strengths and struggles. Remember that compared to God, our loving Heavenly Father, the lowliest sinner and the most faithful saint are not so very different. And yet both are under His watchful eye and recipients of His boundless love.

We need each other. We need to be better to each other. Much better than we have been. Only when we have loved our brothers and sisters who seem the most difficult to love will we be found on the right hand of God, among those who fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and visited the sick and afflicted.

And in the process of loving them, we may be surprised to find that they are much more deserving of our love than we first supposed.


https://www.facebook.com/joshua.d.whiting/posts/10211829729754201


Tue Jan 30, 2018 1:55 pm
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Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:30 pm
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Location: My dumpster, Phoenix AZ
I feel like, now more than ever, people are mainly concerned with themselves first, and will only help someone out if it results in some sort of reward.

Following the second commandment rewards you with friendship and trust. I try my best to help out my friends with whatever it is they need, even if I go unrewarded. It may sometimes feel like friendship or appreciation goes unrequited.

Sometimes I feel a bit confused and hurt when someone who I try to help lashes out at me...


Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:05 pm
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inejwstine wrote:
Because it's not about regaining a lost member; it's about making sure no one is left without a friend.


I really like that :3
I think that gets lost on a lot of people. So many are concerned only with increasing numbers in the church or making sure that absolutely everyone is a believer in Christ that they end up forgetting to love that person, unconditionally, the way that Christ loved first. A lot of the reason that people outside the church see churchgoers as fakers is because church people keep coming to them and trying to talk them into going to church, but never stopping to just be their friend, or listen to them, and a lot of times even stop doing the convincing them to go to church routine if they aren't showing signs of being interested in ever going to church.

I think a lot of evangelical Christians end up seeing people outside the church (or even people within the church who have been deemed as 'living in sin') as 'projects', instead of humans, and that can be a poisonous mentality for a Christian to have.

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Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:16 pm
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I think this is a really good message! ^_^ Kinda really adds an extra spin on "love your neighbor."

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Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:24 pm
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