Monday, September 29, 2008

Mashed Potato love

We need to love each other. That's obvious. Jesus even said (in an obvious jest about being new), "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another."

God also commands several times that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. This can seem nearly impossible many times though. We often don't even know what that is asking of us.

Firstly, to love your neighbor as yourself, you must first love yourself. God has created you in his image, and you do not exist by accident. We must realize through some avenue the value that God sees in us, and that we are loveable.

Secondly, we must love others as ourselves. I often say this means that we should love others as if they are us. I should love each person just as if they are me. What would I desire or need? What would I want someone to step up and provide for me? I should provide it for them.

This requires sacrifice. This also requires a bit of initiative and discomfort. That's why Paul suggests we are to be a living sacrifice, always willing to submit whatever we have for God's purpose. We should be willing to sacrifice our comfort to love others as if they were us.

We're not to be like two peas in a pod. We're to be like two potatoes in mashed potatoes.

That's what Jesus prayed would happen to us: "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me." John 17:21 ESV

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