S (Scripture): Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another, for the one who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, “Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not covet,” (and if there is any other commandment) are summed up in this, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
O (Observation): Life is not about a list of do’s and dont’s. This is what Paul implies. Are there laws that should be followed? Spiritual and worldly? Yes! But is that the focus? No! According to Paul, the way is about loving your neighbor as you love yourself.
If you love your neighbor, you will comply with them. And this isn’t losing.
A (Application): We tell ourselves if we don’t get our way, we lose. So how do we define winning and losing? If we define winning as “getting my way,” then we lose if we don’t get our way.
But what if “your loss” turns out to actually be okay? What if someone else’s idea works out? This may mean that you lose out on the promotion or the praise…and that hurts. Yet is this life about you? Not particularly.
Love your neighbor. Love them even if you think you have a better solution. Love them, and don’t sabatoge them.
Would you want someone to dismiss you? No! Would you want someone to sabotage you? No!
Also, love can sometimes look like challenging a close friend or family member…but only someone with whom you have a close relationship. I would want a close family member or friend to point out my faults and challenge me…but not some random stranger. Maybe in this way, love can build us up…if you challenge a close friend in the name of love.
Perhaps loving your neighbor will not only change your neighbor, but perhaps you will be changed in the process.
P (Prayer): Lord, help us to see that you challenge us to reach out of our own bubbles into this world that is full of pain and hurt…may our hands be used as instruments of your grace and mercy. Amen.