Love Your Neighbor As You Love Yourself: An Appeal For Reconciliation
By Michael Snyder, on July 14th, 2013
Whatever you may think about the George Zimmerman trial, the truth is that it is yet another example that shows very clearly how divided America is at this point. I was hesitant to write anything about the Zimmerman trial today, because it seems like the more people talk about it the more divided we become. But we need to have some honest discussions about these issues, because all of this division threatens to literally tear this nation apart. If we do not learn how to love one another and forgive one another, America is not going to have any sort of a future. After all this time, the people of the United States should have been able to get beyond racial hatred. Instead, it appears to be growing with each passing day. Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate African-American people. Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate Hispanic-American people. Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate Asian-American people. Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate white people. Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate Jewish people. All of this hatred is evil, and it is eating away at our nation like cancer. The problems that our country is facing are immense, and we are never going to have any hope of solving them until we can forgive one another and start to honestly love one another.
When groups of Americans begin to label other groups of Americans that don’t look like them as “the enemy”, we all lose.
We should refuse to listen to those that would attempt to divide us and pit us against one another. We must find a way to come together and overcome all of the bitterness and resentment that is out there. Those that harbor hatred in their hearts are not doing any good and they are slowly but surely destroying themselves.
We need to start understanding that every human life is of great value. I doesn’t matter what someone looks like or where they are from. The following is a direct quote from one of our most important founding documents, the Declaration of Independence…
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Indeed, we are all greatly loved and greatly valued by our Creator. Those that choose to hate a particular group of people are choosing to come against the Creator of us all.
If you hate a particular group of people, you are part of the problem.
In Matthew chapter 22, Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is…
35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
First of all, we are to love God with everything that is inside of us.
Secondly, we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.
So exactly who qualifies as a neighbor?
Jesus answered that question in Luke chapter 10…
30 And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32 And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
36 Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?
37 And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Are you willing to love those that look different than you do?
Of course we all could do better and we have all made mistakes. That is one reason why forgiveness is so important.
We all need to have grace for one another and to be open to reconciliation.
If Americans are able to forgive one another and start loving one another, we may be able to start moving this country back in the right direction.
If not, strife and discord will literally tear our communities apart.
The choice is up to you America.
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