No caveats found

Going through my mother’s old things, I came across a book mark that must have resonated with her, as it did with me when I found it. My mother was a teacher in public schools and as a bible study fellowship leader, so even after her death, she can still teach me something.

The book mark quotes Jesus’ words in John 13: 34 – 35, which says:

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you should also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for another.

In looking at this, three words jump out beside the key word “love.” The first is “commandment,” meaning this is so important it is an additional commandment to the first ten. The second is “everyone,” which means he wants all to see the love each has for another as an exemplar. The last is “disciples,” meaning followers of Jesus should love one another.

Throughout this quote or in adjacent bible verse, I found no caveats. He did not say love only those who agreed with you. He did not say love only those who are heterosexual. He did not say love only people of your race. He did not say love only Christians or Jews, since we have to remember he was a Jewish teacher and referred to often as Rabbi.

In our and our leaders’ efforts to win arguments, we have overlooked what is more important. We need to treat others like we want to be treated. Love may be too strong a word for strangers as we are not nearly as good a person as Jesus, but we should treat each other with dignity and respect. We should listen and hear what others are saying. Winning an argument means little if people are harmed by the outcome.

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16 thoughts on “No caveats found

  1. Note to Readers: Hugh’s comment got me thinking about how to love others beyond those you cherish. Erika’s comments were along the same vein. I have noted before the concept of looking for connections with people. What can I say that will be a bridge of humanity to what may be a sterile transaction? How can I treat someone well to make their day better? How can a smile or greeting make a difference? And, how can listening make someone feel appreciated?

  2. I love this post, Keith. I tend to find it hard to love certain people, but it is not because of any superficial differences such as religion, race, beliefs, etc., but rather because of attitudes and behaviours. I work on trying to get along with everyone, but there are some people I simply cannot claim to love. However, that said, I would help those people if they were in need and I had the means to do so. I try to be a decent person, but I am not perfect, merely human.

    As re your note to readers, I have found so many times that if I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, am sad, grumpy, or whatever, and somebody just simply smiles and says “hey, how are you?”, my mood brightens considerably. I try to always do the same … you just never know but what a smile may help somebody over a rough patch … give them a reason to smile in return. I am a huge believer in the power of a smile and a kind word or two. 🙂

  3. “He did not say love only those who agreed with you. He did not say love only those who are heterosexual. He did not say love only people of your race. He did not say love only Christians or Jews…” So good!!! Couldn’t have said it better.

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