“With Never A Thought” (Leviticus 19: 18, NEB) by Carley Evans

“You shall reprove your fellow-countryman frankly and so you will have no share in his guilt,” says the Lord your God. But, He also says, “You shall not seek revenge, or cherish anger towards your kinsfolk; you shall love your neighbor as a man like yourself. I Am the Lord.” (Leviticus 19: 17 – 18)

Reprove without anger? Sounds challenging, doesn’t it? How about loving your neighbor as a man like yourself? — is this possible? Is it possible to be fully aware of your own weaknesses as you perceive those in your neighbor? Jesus asks, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye, with never a thought for the great plank in your own? How can you say to your brother, ‘My dear brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you are blind to the plank in your own? You hypocrite! First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s.” (Luke 6: 41 – 42)

Remember that you are no better than your neighbor for you are a ‘man’ — a human being — with flaws, sins, foibles, hypocrisies. Remember that Jesus warns “that if you love only those who love you, what credit is that to you?” (Luke 6: 32) You and I must love those who hate us. We must “pass no judgment.” (Luke 6: 37)

“Be compassionate as [our] Father is compassionate.” (Luke 6: 36)