This week's devotional is from Pastor Ben Kerns.
Encounter: Read Leviticus 19:9-18
Who knew there was so much good stuff to wrestle through when reading Leviticus. This strange list of "Do not's" seem, on the surface to have little to do with loving your neighbor and even less to do with 21st century living. But the slower you move through scripture, the more reflective you are, the more the word of God comes alive and reveals all sorts of practical applications for this strange list.
The exact same thing is true when we consider Jesus' summation to "Love your neighbor as yourself." Most people I come in contact with, including myself thing that I am fulfilling this law because I am not harming anyone. But just because there isn't any active malice towards someone, doesn't mean that you are actually loving them.
Hiding from others, being isolated and alone, protecting yourself from others and building a wall around yourself and others so you don't violate this law is not what God desires from us. Rather, Loving your neighbor is a proactive stance towards people.
If want to thrive, we must take ourselves out of the center of the universe. Even in an effort to not sin is still placing the focus on us. When we step back and place others into the center of the story our entire perspective changes. Now we can see their perspective, their hopes, their dreams, partner with their weakness, champion their passions and fulfill the law of Christ as we LOVE THEM!
Consider 3 people you will be in contact with today. Take a minute and imagine the circumstance in which you will interact with them; consider their day, their issues, their perspective, their needs. Imagine what it would look like for you to not simply share space with them, but to actually LOVE them?
Be a Blessing:
You now have your homework. The next step is to move past the imagination and into the reality. In these three encounters today, find one way to be proactive in your love towards them.
If you want to take to this exercise to the next level, partner with a friend to go through this process of imaginings someone else in the center of the story and imagining in ways to bless, and then to actually do it. What an impact when the two of you push each other to really find ways to love someone and then to actually do it. May you truly be a blessing today!