• Gathered Under Grace

Prickly Pears

There are many different personalities in the world. We can run the gambit from quietly subdued, to completely average, to weirdo and beyond. Yet, all in all, people are generally nice. Most of the time. We all have our off days, but generally, most people are nice, but occasionally we will encounter the prickly pear. Cantankerous and never wrong, it is not easy to deal with, talk to, or even listen to, the prickly pear. It takes a LOT of patience and we have to grab hold to all of our spiritual fruit to maintain our neighborliness.

Luke 10:27 NLT

“The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.”

This guy, ‘the man’, was trying to test Jesus. An ‘expert’ in religious law, he wanted to see if he could trip Jesus up. Alas, Jesus was right on the money. He keep His cool, and He didn’t blink an eye. Jesus asked him to tell him his interpretation of the law of Moses. How do we inherit eternal life? We must love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, with all of our soul, with all of our strength, and with all of our mind. Then he adds the caveat ... and love our neighbors as ourselves. It almost sounds like that last part is said as a question. <grin> One of those ‘do we really gotta really’ kind of questions our kids ask us, but Jesus doesn’t hesitate to congratulate the guy. Yep! That’s it! You got it. But this guy isn’t ready for that answer, and he wants to dissect the term ‘neighbor’. Just who is my neighbor? Jesus tells him about the good neighbor, the bad neighbor and the prickly pear neighbor...and he doesn’t differentiate between them. You guessed it. We are all each other’s neighbors. We are supposed to show, demonstrate and offer mercy to ALL of our neighbors ... even the prickly pears.

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Deltona, FL, USA


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