As I approach my ½ century birthday, I have been reflective of my life’s mission. It is summed up in Jesus’ own words when he was talking to the religious leaders of His time. They asked him to state the greatest commandment of the Law.
37Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’c 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’d 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40
Almost 20 years ago I attended a community workshop and the speaker asked a question that continues to linger in my mind. He asked, “What kind of world does God desire?” He went on to ask, “What kind of community is able to create the kind of person who is able to put into practice the life that God desires?” His response was a “Caring Community”. It is my belief that the Law of Love that Jesus talked about is a restorative approach in the community. It is a community that builds up people rather than tearing them down. It’s a community that teaches and practices patience, kindness, humility, forgiveness as well as accountability.
Let me be clear. I understand the reality that we deal with conflict on a regular basis. Conflict is normal. It’s how we handle it that can determine if it will be positive or negative outcome. It can become destructive or it can be transformative. Whether it’s with a family member, a friend, a neighbor, a stranger, even internal conflict with ourselves, we must practice the Law of Love.
How have you been responding to conflict recently? Are your words and actions helping train up the next generation to walk in fear, hate, unforgiveness, mistrust, selfishness and pride? Sit down with your family, friends, club members and others in your community to Talk About Love. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are walking in the God kind of love.
I’m serious. Examine your love walk. Sit down with others and discuss what love is. I personally am tired of the violence but believe that Love never fails. I hope you’re not getting tired of hearing me talk about love. Someone might say, “Kill that already.” But I say, “Love never dies.”
Next time we will examine the role our feelings play in walking in love.