Marvin Arnpriester, Senior Pastor at Sun Lakes United Methodist Church
“The hardest spiritual work in the world is to love the neighbor as the self—to encounter another human being not as someone you can use, change, fix, help, save, enroll, convince, or control, but simply as someone who can spring you from the prison of yourself, if you will allow it.” – Barbara Brown Taylor
It is so hard to truly love someone with whom you disagree or find lacking in integrity of character, isn’t it? It is difficult to love someone who has taken advantage of you and/or accused you falsely of something. It is much easier to “be nice” and go on as if it never happened and pretend everything is fine when it isn’t.
Love does not excuse reality, nor does it roll over and play dead. Rather, love is aggressive in reaching out to find the best in the other. Love is seeking the best for the other and caring for another when everything that makes sense says, “forget it!”
To love our neighbor as ourselves is to recognize that none of us is perfect, but all are on the way to becoming in their lives. To love another is to affirm the good, the best, and build a relationship based on those realities.
Jesus said we are to love one another as He has loved us. I pray God will continue to nudge, tug, and guide me to do just that.