The Greatest of These


8-13-17

When chaos erupts in families, or countries, people often shake their heads and wonder what the answer is. I don’t claim to be able to fix all the problems going on, but I do know what the answers would boil down to. Because the Bible tells us.

It’s love.

Love for God, our fellow people, and ourselves.  If people had the right kind of love in their hearts, we wouldn’t be hearing about nuclear wars and race riots. That’s not to say it’s easy. Love, true love, is not.

Love is built on understanding that the other person is flawed, but that God created and loves them anyway. And because of that, we can love them. We can love every person on earth.

Loving someone doesn’t mean you condone everything they think or do. Sometimes it means loving them enough to tell them when they’re wrong. We need a lot of that going around today.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13

One of the most powerful tools we have today is love. It can bring people together and mend relationships that are broken. It can, and must, start in each of us.

I grew up in a community that was almost entirely Protestant Caucasian. I am not experienced with first hand relationships with people from other cultures and backgrounds. But when I get to experience it, I love it.

The racism in our country is appalling. Sure, we should have pride in our backgrounds. We all have aspects of our ancestry that are negative, but there are also things we can celebrate. Let’s celebrate them together. More than that, let’s celebrate being just Americans. Above all, we can celebrate being the family of God.

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ – Acts 17:26-28

God made people. Period. He didn’t make Europeans superior to Asians or Africans. He calls us, all of us, His children. There is no room for disrespect toward people God claims, and He would claim us all.

I am a Caucasian female in her twenties. Christ came to Earth as a Middle Eastern male likely with mocha skin and spoke Greek and Aramaic.

Am I better than my Lord because of the color of my skin? Certainly not. Neither am I better than anyone else or is anyone else better than me because of what we look like.

My ancestors came from Ireland, England, Germany, Sweden, and here as Native Americans. This country does not belong to a skin color. It belongs to Americans. And that can mean anyone, of any background, who will share the freedoms that we are blessed with.

Even more importantly, God’s family belongs to anyone who will join. Remember who was a good neighbor to the man in Jesus’ parable? The one person in the story who, according to culture, would have hated him the most. Because of his race.

How dare we harm each other when God loves us and calls us to love? Let’s show love to everyone we meet. If they don’t show it first or don’t show it back? Love anyway. Love harder.

We’re all made in the image of God. No other characteristic of ourselves should be more important than that. Let’s be like the Good Samaritan to all of the people around us. Because, when you get right down to it, how different are we?

May the Lord bless and keep you,

Heather

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