Loving Our Neighbor Isn’t Defined by Convenience

Something amazing happened today.
A conversation took place on my Face Book wall. A significant conversation with lots of opinions. And it was civil.
I enjoy social media for the opportunities to engage with friends that I may not see in person regularly as well as hearing from a variety of voices. I post information that resonates with me as well as perspectives on issues that may challenge us to consider another view.
I have learned in the past, that some newsworthy topics are not suited for online conversation. Knee jerk reactions quickly shutdown productive engagement.
As much as I wanted to share my point of view, I waited. I read. I contemplated. And then my eyes came across a quote which aptly described my thoughts. And with a mixture of hesitancy and conviction, I pressed “share.”
And comments commenced. Lots of narratives. Different views. Listening. Responding. Reflecting.
A group of people who didn’t all know each other engaged in a civil, hard conversation without name calling, stereotyping, or political labeling. Loving your neighbor is not defined by convenience.
“Live out this God-created identity the way our Father lives toward us, generously and graciously, even when we’re at our worst. Our Father is kind; you be kind.” Luke 6:36.
Conversation involves risk; “laying down our lives” in order to listen. Long ago, hard conversations took place on front porches. Now our porches have moved. We must be intentional in finding them.
Setting aside time to truly connect with others is not always convenient; particularly those whose ideologies oppose our own. Our agenda and comfort level may have to be set aside. It will involve sacrificing time and tools of power.
But loving our neighbor was never defined by convenience anyway.
This post was written for the Five Minute Friday Writing Community. Come join us! https://fiveminutefriday.com/

4 thoughts on “Loving Our Neighbor Isn’t Defined by Convenience

  1. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Love this, Stephanie, and I hope your experience is a harbinger of things to come in the wide world.
    Some thoughts…
    I’ve always kept from politics
    and things of controversy,
    for all the verbal stones and sticks
    show so little mercy!
    But it is not virtue, reticence,
    a role-model it is not;
    At best it’s merely common sense
    and privacy of thought.
    But though we are not of the world
    our fate here’s surely writ,
    and for love to be unfurled
    it’s we who must begin it.
    To insult, then, respond in grace
    with a smile that mirrors God’s own face.
    #1 at FMF this week.

  2. Jane Anderson

    Stephanie, you certainly did witness and participate in an anomaly for this day – but it is as it should be. We should be able to disagree on an opinion without it changing us. People who love each other disagree but still love each other. Surely the close quarters of disciples lead to some debate and they were in the presence of Jesus and later on his followers. Whatever the debatable quote was I’m happy that you saw evidence that people can treat each other with respect, even if they see things from a different perspective. Good job!
    Andrew, if you see this comment, thank you for your poem. I love it – and that last line should be painted on a sign.


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