A new commandment He gave to us: to love God and love people.
"Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends."
It's not uncommon to get caught up in our walk with God to the point that we are the only thing we think He thinks about. It's easy for us to be selfish because, well, sin.
So while we are focused on our little world, we judge others. We compare them to us. We judge if they're doing things like we would, if they've had the same revelation we have had, if they're as active as we are in our faith community.
We become haughty, and we begin to look at them as less than.
Not as family.
Ultimately as an enemy.
Sound absurd? Think about it. The people on the other side of the political aisle from you. Those who believe differently than you. It can't just be me who looks at them as less than. It can't be.
We make ourselves the measuring stick for others, but that's so off.
People aren't God's enemy, but His children. Period.
When He gave us a new command, He was shifting the paradigm from a private walk with Him to a global sharing.
Think about it: up until Jesus entered the scene, each believer was an Israelite (whether by birth or grafted in) and belief was limited to them. They looked down on Samaritan's, who were half Jewish and half Gentile, they looked down on Gentile's, and a level of haughtiness came in.
Just read Romans 11 to confirm this. Paul teaches how Gentile believers aren't to be like the Israelite believers who came it to themselves. And their origination for this wasn't bad; God set up the nation of Israel to be set apart from the time of Abraham. It was His plan that they clung to more tightly than others (i.e. religion over relationship).
So when Jesus enters the scene and takes His message to Samaritan's, Gentile's, women, the sick, "those people," He shows us that it came through Israel for the world. It was a fulfillment.
But here we are, sticking in like-mindedness and a bit prideful.
Paul went on to write Romans 12:2 right after this, teaching that we renew our minds to know God's will. And continues into the rest of Romans 12 to show that love matters.
So will we keep our relationship with God on a pedestal but how we treat others in pride? We shouldn't. We should see others for their humanity, as children of God, even if they're not on the track we think they should be.
I'm not saying lie. I'm not saying sin isn't sin. Jesus is the only way.
But our role is to love and share Jesus. Allow His Holy Spirit to convict and change. Not just them, but you. Because we are all a work in progress for His glory and purpose.