Two weeks ago we looked at the disunity in our country and then last week we looked at the foundational pieces to getting back to being united. I stated that the foundational pieces were to realize that it is not a matter of how “we” are going to get back to united, but rather how can “I” live united. Understanding what “I” can do starts with me living the Great Commandment to “love God, and love others.” With these foundational pieces in mind let’s look at some tangible ways to bring the kingdom of God to America and make our country united again.
For our country to become united again it is not going to happen by you and I trying to impact people that are outside of our proximity. What I am saying is we have to focus on the people who are right in front of us. That is right I am talking about three main groups of people: your family, your co-workers, and your neighbors. Yes, I am talking about those people who drive you crazy because they never mow their yard and shoot off fireworks into the early hours of the morning. It is time to get out of our fenced in backyards and stop driving in our garages while putting the door down before you get out of your vehicle when you arrive home. Let me ask you a few questions about your neighbors. Do you know the names of the people on your block? When was the last time you went to a neighbor and asked to borrow something or asked your neighbor to help you do something? Do you know what your neighbors are struggling with? Do you know what your neighbors do for a living what their gifts and talents are?
Why don’t we interact with people any more? I am not talking about throwing your hand up and yelling hi to the neighbor when you take the trash out or being up to date on people’s lives via Facebook. One of the saddest reasons we do not interact with people is because “they are different from us.” When did that become a bad thing? I mean, I am pretty sure the people around me have a hard enough time dealing with me. I would hate to see a community of people who were all like me. Think about it another way. When you are looking for a mate in life are you typically drawn to people who are just like you? Nope. Here is what I am getting at; it is okay if people are different from you. Differences should not divide us and for all of you “Christians” out there; you do not have to agree on theology and doctrines to care about a person. Jesus said the Greatest Commandment was to love God and love others. Notice he said nothing about having the “correct” theology or being part of a certain denomination so stop using God as a reason to not care about people.
Right now one of the biggest things going on in my life is not Sunday morning. It is walking through a very difficult situation with one of my neighbors. Being there to pray with his family, helping them in any way possible, being a shoulder to cry on and process hard decisions with. I am proud of the fact that I am finally able to say this, because this was not always the case. God has taught me that some of life’s greatest blessings come from being in community with the people around me. One of the things I think we overlook about the Great Commandment to love God and love others is that part of loving God is loving others. Our love for God is incomplete if we do not love others.
So how do “we” get back to united? One neighborhood at a time!