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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

who is my neighbour?

this past september 9th i committed the day to an online conference called 'the Nines'.  various speakers, teachers, and leaders had been asked what their 'gamechanger' had been.  i've posted several of the responses at my Infuse: InSpirit site, but felt this one fit particularly well with Ann Voscamp's 'walk with Him wednesday'.  what would you think?

from Dave Gibbons on the Nines Conference, live and online this past September 9, 2010 ..
Talk Title: Neighbours Know My Name

The biggest game changer is how we define neighbour.
There are two great commandments: Loving God, Loving our neighbour.
I thought neighbour was someone like us. Story of the Good Samaritan emphasizes that the neighbour is not like us.
It is someone you would hate, or be very uncomfortable around.
When I understood that, it changed everything i did -
who i spent time with, how i spent money, how i define success.
Why? Because Jesus mandated it.
When we love in this way, people see the heart of God and touch the supernatural.
From a practical aspect.
How about a first step - ethnic restaurant.
Food represents culture - Walk and pray the ethnic neighbourhoods in the city -
Immerse yourself in a cross-cultural situation (where you are the minority)
Spend the night with the homeless.

questions to challenge our personal reflection or discussion:
1. List the specific steps you are going to take to “dive into the uncomfortable chaos”.
What's your timeline?
2. What group or person is the most difficult for you to love as your neighbour?

holy experience


Holly said...

Oh...this was very good, Sharon. Thank you for sharing it with me...good things to think about - one thing for sure - walking with God spurs us on to get out of our comfort zone, but oh the blessings of it all!
Warm hugs!

Donna said...

Hi Sharon,

I really appreciate the post topic you shared! Who would you say is the most difficult person or people group for you to relate to? I have a fairly easy time of relating to people groups of different cultures or even income fact, the poorer..the easier. What I have a hard time relating to are people of very high incomes who are apparently shallow in their pursuit of life's most important values.

Actually, on second thought..even they don't scare me off. It's people who compromise..who care about nothing...and excuse everything. It's that middle group who take responsibility for nothing in their lives... that I just have a very hard time relating to. People at the bottom...drunkards, bikers,...etc. often know they've 'failed' but some people sugar coat it all. They are what I call the 'feel good' tpes. Cultural differences don't bother me at all. But the Lord has called us to love the unlovely...and that includes the lukewarm.

I'm just so glad that our dear Lord loves us and did so, even when we did not know we needed that love. In many ways, we are all lukewarm or selfish. Sometimes, loving those who aren't easy or comfortable to love, pushes us over the edge..and shows us what real love is all about.

Great post!

Donna @ Comin' Home

Donnie said...

Sharon, that really is a question I'm not ready to answer. I have to reach inside of myself and find what it is the Lord wants me to do and where he wants me to be. My youngest brother was homeless much of his adult life and when we could find him we helped, or thought we were helping him, to live our kind of life. About 2 years before he died he moved in with my mom again and I was able to get to know him more. Very complex but I think he actually gave me more than I was able to give him. I have a real affinity for the homeless and wonder if that's not where I'm supposed to direct my prayers and calling. Great post.

Roberta said...

Yes...I agree with the other comments and this is a very deep post/question. I have always TRIED to be non-judgemental when it comes to my and let live sort of an attitude. In one sense it's purely selfish because I too have a little brother who can drain you to pieces with his ups and downs...ugh! Too much drama and a long time ago I realized with him and my parents...that I'm NOT responsible for anyone's happiness...that's the selfish, survival part of me. Then from the non-selfish's the reality that GOD is the only one who can stand in judgement of any of us so I give it up to him! I do what I can to help my neighbors and ask nothing in return...that's the best anyone of us can do. Too bad we can't learn these lessons earlier Would make life so much more pleasant for everyone ;) Fondly, Roberta

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