A legal expert stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to gain eternal life?” Jesus replied, “What is written in the Law? How do you interpret it?” He responded, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus said to him, “You have answered correctly. Do this and you will live.” But the legal expert wanted to prove that he was right, so he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho. He encountered thieves, who stripped him naked, beat him up, and left him near death. Now it just so happened that a priest was also going down the same road. When he saw the injured man, he crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. Likewise, a Levite came by that spot, saw the injured man, and crossed over to the other side of the road and went on his way. A Samaritan, who was on a journey, came to where the man was. But when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. The Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, tending them with oil and wine. Then he placed the wounded man on his own donkey, took him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day, he took two full days’ worth of wages and gave them to the innkeeper. He said, ‘Take care of him, and when I return, I will pay you back for any additional costs.’ What do you think? Which one of these three was a neighbor to the man who encountered thieves?” Then the legal expert said, “The one who demonstrated mercy toward him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37, CEB)
But the legal expert wanted to prove that he was right.
How many times do we communicate to make sure that people see things the way we do? Or to make sure that our answer is the one that everyone believes?
The majority of the issues in the world today can be boiled down to communication. We don’t listen to learn or hear, we listen to respond. The average person hears 4-5 words before they are formulating how they will respond. And the problem is if the person speaking goes on a tangent on word 6 and you have shut your brain down and are more focused on the response, you will make no sense and will cause a bigger issue than there originally was.
We have to prove our point, but that was never told to us to do. We were told to love God and love our neighbor. and a neighbor is someone who lives close to you. And what is close. Well, that is relative. When we try to prove our point or make sure we are right, we are listening to respond and not to learn or hear.
We need to hear. And listen without responding. Listen to empathize, to learn, to be moved and to learn more about the one speaking. To broaden our horizons and community. To make real neighbors and to love them as God loves us.
Listen to learn and broaden.
Love Out Loud.
Loving People. Loving God.