Loving Others

And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him, and by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. – 1 John 3:23-24 NKJV.

It happened in Debary, Florida about ten years ago. Drivers could see her as they drove by. She seemed to be stuck in the mud. As you would expect there was so much concern that it tied up traffic for miles. They called the police wanting something done. Monday commuters were again looking for her to see if she was still trapped by the mud, or was she okay now? There was so much concern that again traffic was tied up, and backed up for miles. The Florida Transportation Department knew something had to be done. They put up an electronic flashing sign to communicate to all of those concerned drivers the following, “The Cow is Okay.”

We have to wonder if it had been a human being, would there have been the same amount of concern? Now God is concerned about cattle (Jonah 4:11), but they are not made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Our concern for animals, and disdain for humans, may come from our experience with them. There is usually a good reason when an animal attacks and few of us have been on the receiving end. I have been chased by a cow, but most people in Florida have probably not had the experience. However, nearly all of us have been on the receiving end of verbal or physical attacks from other humans.

I believe there is something in us that wants to show concern, that wants be kind, which wants to love. It is because we were made in the image of God and God is love as the apostle John tells us, “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:8).” It may be difficult (It was difficult for Jonah and that’s why he ended up in the belly of the great fish.), but it is God’s will and His command for us to be kind to each other and to love each other. We are even to love our enemies, and we know that Jonah had trouble loving those wicked Ninevites. Jesus says, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:44-45a).” We will never really be able to experience love until we begin to love each other.

The next time we see someone stuck in the mud, let us give them some help demonstrating that we are truly made in the image of God, and that we are the sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18).”

(Do you love people as much as you love animals?)

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