Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The love experiement

This week I joined the love-daily experiment facebook group that fellow blogger Missio Dei is conducting with his emergent cohort (sort of like a Christian small group, or for those InterVarsity readers, an intense GIG) over in Sac-town. The task is simple in words, but in practice can be hard to execute. The idea is to "commit to not going to bed for the day until we intentionally loved our neighbor."

It is day two, and I'm already struggling. However as I was discussing with a friend last night, I don't think struggling is always negative. I'm struggling because I recognize the difficulty in the task. Even in the small things, like when I go to mental curse the drivers that keep parking their cars partially in front of our driveway when I'm trying to back out the minivan. Is that love? I quickly lose patience with the teens after they've hurt my feelings and continue to push boundaries. Out of my frustration with them I didn't cook a warm breakfast for them this morning, instead I put milk and cereal out. Is that the best way to love them?

Often times it is easier for me to show kindness and love to a complete stranger than it is to a friend that's getting on my nerves, or a person that has hurt me in the past. I don't think I'm alone in this sentiment. It's acknowledge by Jesus that it's an easy task to love the ones who love you back. My thought is that strangers haven't given you a reason not to love you, so it makes it easier in a way. Even if it's uncomfortable because they may not be as clean or as socially accepted I can grasp onto my understanding of Jesus and his love for people. People who have hurt me, however, it takes some serious effort.

It's a familiar passage, "The Good Samaritan," in Luke, along with the concept of Loving your enemies, from Matthew 5. I wish I could say I do an excellent job, but I don't. If nothing else participating in intentionally loving others, will continually remind me to think before I speak, or at least reflect after.

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