Love Your Neighbor
The dawn of the twenty-first century finds our world facing multiple crises. Headlines everywhere proclaim, “AIDS Crisis Mounts”; “Teenage Pregnancy Hits Crisis Level”; “Marriages and Families in Crisis.” Like a forest fire whipped by fierce winds, the crises in our culture seem to get worse by the hour, and more lives are consumed by the flames.
The hurt is real. The pain is deep. Anxiety, emptiness, disconnectedness, alienation, and aloneness reign in the human heart. Inner turmoil surfaces in broken relationships, violence, abuse, addictions and suicide. The “not good” of human aloneness cries out for a solution. “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) NIV
In the end, it always comes down to this: actions still speak louder than words. That’s not to say that the “words” of Christianity are not vitally important. The Word of God is absolutely, unapologetically essential in defining who we are and how salvation through Christ is revealed to mankind. But for Christianity to come full circle—for a Christ Awakening to genuinely begin ripping through the raw pavement of our city streets—our faith must take to the road.
Good intentions and agenda items must become hands-on activity. Physical and relational need must be lifted away by the strong arms of applied compassion. Until it does, we are rightly accused of keeping our answers to ourselves and not caring who lives or dies while we’re worshipping.
God’s plan—based on purposes known only to Himself—is to use us, His fallen but faithful servants, to be the flesh-and-blood means by which He touches a hurting world. We need it as much as our nation does. So may our hearts cry out for…neighborhood transformation and an accompanying decrease of social ills through increase expressions of “loving your neighbor” in service, compassion, and unity.
The apostle John writes, “This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.” (1 John 3:11) NIV
Praying for a Christ Awakening: A Contemporary Collection for Church and Culture, p. 129.