It’s not easy but it’s for His Glory and Our Good.

Bike“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

Growing up I loved riding my pink bike with tassels dangling off each side of the handlebar. Back then the banana seat was a perfect fit, though I’m not sure I could sit on it today!

Just downhill from my home neighborhood kids made a bike ramp. I watched as they took turns jumping the ramp with their bikes.  They made it look easy and so much fun. I decided I needed to join them. So I sat on my bike, at the top of the hill, rolling it back and forth trying to muster the courage to go for it. I finally raced down the hill as fast as I could while keeping my eyes squarely on the ramp. I rolled up the ramp and soared in the air! My body hit the ground hard thrusting the air out of my lungs as my bike continued down the hill! I thought that because the other kids made it look easy it would be easy for me also. Not so much!

Sometimes we roll upon scripture thinking it should be an easy application until we fail at it.

For instance, look at our key verse:

“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:14

After my complete failure at the bike ramp, I am certain I did not feel love for my neighbors right then.

Maybe you too have blown applying this command. Before you say no, let’s explore who our neighbor is.

According to “Baker Encyclopedia of the bible” your neighbor is a concept apparently limited in the Old Testament period…and extended by Jesus to include anyone encountered in life.

Anyone encountered in life? Yes! That means the cashier you blamed for breaking your eggs, the coworker that spread a rumor about you, the friend that said something hurtful, your spouse, your parents, and anyone else you encounter.

This command is not easy to apply every day. But neither is being in God’s will in general.  We must strive to have confidence in God when He leads us to such difficult commands.  It’s not easy but it’s for His glory and our good.

The more we approach scripture with heart motives to look more like Christ, the more we are challenged.  Although the bike ramp failure proved to be a challenge, it did not mean I should give up.  It meant that I needed to practice, practice, practice until it became more natural.  The same applies with our key verse. We must practice loving our neighbor as ourselves.  Though we may stumble with such love at times, God is faithful and just to forgive us.

Be encouraged by Proverbs 24:16 The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.