"If you __________ UNFRIEND ME NOW"!
I've been seeing posts that say something along those lines become more and more frequent, and they're not joking. Nothing about that statement is Christ-like. Nothing.
Jesus said love your neighbor
We know the 2 greatest commandments--love your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind AND love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40). Loving your neighbor is essential to living faithfully and exemplifying Christ and living faithfully.
Your neighbor may be different than you
"Who is my neighbor?" This was a question asked of Jesus when he began to tell the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37).
In the story of the good Samaritan Jesus tells a story of a man who was beaten, robbed, and left for dead. A priest and a Levite saw the man but passed by on the other side, leaving the man unattended. A Samaritan saw the man, had compassion, and helped the man. The Samaritan attended to his wounds, brought him to an inn, gave him food, and paid for his extended stay there until he had regained his strength.
Samaritans were HATED by the Jews. For Jesus to portray a Samaritan in good light in a story was unheard of. However, Jesus was reminding them that loving your neighbor was more than loving a select few. Loving your neighbor may even mean loving someone different than you. Loving your neighbor may even mean loving your enemy (Matthew 5:43-44).
After telling this story, Jesus asked his audience "...who proved to be a neighbor" (Luke 10:36) to which the people replied "the one that showed him mercy" (10:37). Jesus said "You go, and do likewise" (10:37). We are not only to love our neighbors, but to be neighbors EVEN IF they look different or act different. It is our responsibility to show them Christ, to show them love, and to show them mercy.
Winning souls is more important than winning arguments
In a world that seems so divided it is very likely you will meet people with views that are completely opposite of your views. The incorrect response is to respond with hate, judgement, or to post on social media, "If you _______ unfriend me now". Nothing about that is Christ-like. Nothing about that is being a neighbor.
Our purpose on earth, as Christians, is to obey God, follow Christ's example, and take as many people to heaven with us as possible. Winning souls is more important than winning arguments. Winning souls is more important that a political debate. Winning souls is more important than...EVERYTHING.
If you are different than me, know I love you. You are my neighbor. I may disagree with you and you may disagree with me. Let's discuss together in a loving way and may our words be seasoned with grace and salt.
If you _________, FRIEND ME NOW because I want you to KNOW and SEE Jesus.
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