The greeting card aisles at the supermarkets are filled with hearts and flowers, and the candy aisles are all about chocolate in heart-shaped boxes. When Jesus said we are to love our neighbor, did he mean we’re supposed to feel all sweet and sentimental about them and send them flowers and candy?
But what if we don’t actually like them? Or what if we think they shouldn’t even be our neighbor? What then? Jesus doesn’t make distinctions: Everybody is our neighbor, whether we want them to be our neighbor or not. Think about the story of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37).
Did the Samaritan and the injured man love each other; that is, did they feel all sweet and sentimental about each other? I doubt it. But, the Samaritan did the right thing. He treated the man with respect, generosity, and kindness. Love isn’t about emotion; it’s about action. That’s how we love our neighbors, no matter how we feel about them. We do the right thing for them.
This message is excerpted from a monthly devotion by Audrey Novak Riley. You can read it here. Today we remember Cyril, monk, who died in 869; and Methodius, bishop, who died in 885; missionaries to the Slavs. Many people celebrate the feast of St. Valentine today.
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