“Love your neighbor as yourself” is the golden rule. It is the summary of the entire law (Galatians 5:14). And it is the second greatest commandment within the entire Bible (Matthew 22:37-40).
But how do we love our neighbors as ourselves? To answer that, let’s look at Like 10:25-42.
The Bible says a lot about judging others. For example, Christians should not judge people’s motives, they should not judge non-believers, but they should judge other believers’ external actions if that Christian is living in sin. (For more on what the Bible says about judging others, read this article.)
However, what about being on the other side of the judgement? What should Christians do when they feel judged by others?
Just recently in Cleveland, my hometown, the Facebook Murder garnered national attention for his despicable crime. Steve Stephens was a local man who killed 74-year-old Robert Godwin at random, filmed it, and then posted it on Facebook.
When I opened my email one recent Friday morning, I saw a notification regarding two new clients who would be checking into our program soon. One was getting out of prison after an eight-year term for two counts of rape. The other was coming to us after a twenty-year prison term for three counts of GSP (gross sexual imposition) and six counts of rape. Underneath their profile information was our Prison Outreach Chaplain’s signature line with the words, “Jesus, he breaks my chains!”
While the reminder of God’s power expressed in the gospel sent chills down my back, I can’t deny the internal war of feelings I had regarding these men: Why should we help these guys? They disgust me. They’re always going to be a threat to society. Nine counts of rape between the two of them! Why are they letting these men out?
But then that final line rang again in my ears, “Jesus, he breaks my chains!”
You are not going to find the term “personal boundaries” in the Bible. However, the Bible does talk about personal boundaries in principle.
2 Corinthians 1:11
As Christians, most of us have a general awareness that it is a good thing to pray for other people and to have other people praying for you. But perhaps praying for each other is more than “good,” perhaps it is crucial.
So why should we pray for others? What benefits are there to interceding for people? Why is it so important that we pray for each other?
“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.” -Isaiah 43:25-26
“Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” -Colossians 3:13
Why does God forgive us? He can forgive us because of the sacrifice of Jesus. But he chooses to forgive us because he is love and because he loves us.
Why should we forgive others? We can forgive others because of the sacrifice of Jesus. And we should choose to forgive because to be God’s child is to reflect his loving image. If we don’t forgive others their sins, then God will not forgive ours because this proves we have not become his children through grace (Matthew 6:14).
One AGW reader wrote in to ask a question about helping a friend who is living in sin. Below is our conversation. What advice would you share with Emily? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Words are immensely powerful. We know this, and yet we so often struggle to tame our tongues. Whether it’s the temptation to say something nasty during a marital clash, the failure to hold our tongues when we know we shouldn’t contribute to the workplace gossip, or the inability to keep control and not enter into a rage of cussing – everyone struggles with taming the tongue to some degree or another.
Knowing the importance of taming the tongue is not enough. Thankfully the Bible not only tells why we should control our tongues but also how to do it. When asking, “What does the Bible say about taming the tongue?” perhaps there’s no better place to turn than James 3:1-12.
Question: “I attend a church which is a part of the Assemblies of God. I am a Christian. My pastor and his family have taken a trip to Hawaii, Disneyland, Arizona, and to other places. The church and the AOG pay for these. We have people in our church who are struggling financially and there are families in our community who need help. Is it right for the pastor to take these trips? I am confused. Peace and Love and God`s Blessings to you.”