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  • David Chadwick

Love Your Neighbor

If you love God with all that is within you, the best way to show it is by loving that which he loves most: his children. When people ask me how they can express appreciation to me for some way I’ve touched their lives, I always respond, “Love my kids!” The same is true with God. You love him best when you love his kids - people of all colors who are the crown of his creation. They have his divine image stamped on them.

Jesus taught that the Great Commandment is the greatest of all the other commandments: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27). After Jesus spoke these words, a man asked him, “Who is our neighbor?” (Luke 10:29). Jesus’ answer is specific. He basically responded by saying, “Yes!” (Luke 10:30-37).

In other words, Jesus was teaching, “The entire world is your neighbor. Whoever is in need – God’s kids everywhere, of all skin colors and ethnicities – is your neighbor.” He may live next door. She may live in another part of town. But Jesus made it very clear: people next door, those who live in your city, all people in this country and around the world are your neighbors. All God's children are your neighbors.

As neighbors, we must embrace our common humanity. We breathe the same air. Live in the same country. Share the same space. We must love one another!

We must see each of our neighbors as God’s image-bearers – see the human dignity stamped on each and every life. In order to root out systemic racism in our country, reformation must occur. And the reformation must include who we consider our neighbors to be.

Love your neighbor as yourself. When you do, racial strife will cease. Human harmony will grow.

And God will be rightly loved.