Donna Homer

Donna Homer

In the Bible, Mark 12:28, a scribe asked Jesus the question, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

Jesus answer was, “The first of the commandments is…Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.”

Then Jesus added: “and the second is like…Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

Why do you suppose he added the second commandment to fully answer the question? I think it is because if we are not loving our neighbor, who is also a child of God, how can we love God.

Some people feel they really love God. They strive to be good Christians, go to church, etc. But, at the same time, they are not loving some person or persons because they feel that the actions and life of those people are not in accord with what they consider to be a righteous person.

Doesn’t the Bible say, “Judge not, lest ye be judged?”

And remember the narrative about the man who stood outside the temple and listed his virtues, as fasting twice in a week and giving tithes of all that (he) possessed. He thanked God that he was not as other men, ext­­­­ortioners, unjust, adulterers, etc. But a publican stood far off and smote upon his breast saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner. Then Jesus commented: “this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for every man that exalted himself shall be abused and he that humblest himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18-11-14).

Instead of finding fault with others, we should pray to see them as pure and loving — the way God made them. We should pray that they will forsake evil that is influencing them and if possible, help them to have the strength to reform.

Jesus said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but the sinner to repentance.” Also, many times after healing someone, he said, “Go and sin no more.”

So, each one of us can help end resentment and strife by humbling ourselves and seeing others as also worthy of right thinking and doing.

One small example. Once I was in a restaurant with my parents and the waitress who waited on us was rude and trite. After she took our order, I strove to know that she was loving, courteous and kind. I did not accept the rude behavior. When she returned to our table, she was a changed person and showed us much kindness. My mother commented on how she had changed!

So, we never know how much right thinking can change our experiences.

“Turning the other cheek” can only bring blessings.

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