“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
I’ve read, and heard, and prayed these words so often in my life, yet this time I can only think, “But it is just so hard, Jesus!”
I used to think that the more I loved God, the more I practiced my faith, or the older I became, the easier this commandment would become for me. I thought I’d begin loving those in my life who annoyed me, demanded time and attention, or needed me for their basic needs as though it were just an easy, breezy lifestyle.
If anything, I have to admit that it’s become more difficult for me to love my neighbor. The challenging times we live in, the more tired and exhausted I become, the busier I am, the more cynical my perspective have all made loving my neighbor both near and far increasingly difficult.
It’s hard to love the same people day in, day out over the course of decades. It’s hard to love the new person I don’t yet know much about.
But I’ve also noticed that I have not been asking the Lord to give me the grace to love. I’ve been relying on myself rather than the ever-new mercies of God. In effect, I’ve been relying on my own mind and strength rather than properly ordering them to first love God.
The simplicity of the commands of Jesus shouldn’t let us believe that they are easy and within our own human power. The commandments that Jesus speaks of are simple because they require a complete dependence on His grace and real relationship with Him.
Don’t let the words of today’s Gospel roll over your heart today. You’ve heard them before, but in their simplicity, let them renew your love of Him. Only then will we be able to love our neighbor as ourselves.Depend on His grace. // Christy Isinger Click To Tweet
Thank you for being here.
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