The more your heart expands, the less offended you feel by other people working out their specific stage of being human.
“When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they came together. And one of them, an expert in the law, asked a question to test him: “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest? ”
He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” – Matthew 22:34-40
In pastoring, one of the challenges I have encountered was parishioners complaining about each other to me. The situation was normally one person believing another person should be serving in the church more or that someone should not be struggling with their faith in certain areas.
However, one thing I have learned is that when we love our neighbors as we love our self, we would have more compassion and patience for them. When we begin to put ourselves into the same scenario, we begin to see that every decision and choice is not so black and white.
Can you imagine in today’s culture if we stopped to look at everyone as we do ourself, and loved and respected their views the way we value our own? Even when someone may have a negative worldview, we can love them through that hurt because of our love and compassion for them.
This allows our heart to become bigger. I believe this is one of the reasons Christ said love your neighbor as yourself.
Jean Ward serves as pastor of East Atlanta Church.