Leviticus 19:18 (NIV): “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.”
It is so easy to focus on what I want to focus on. I think you know what I mean. If I am in a picture, I look at myself first. I check to see if I think I look okay. Do I have a good smile? Do I look goofy? But wait, there are other people in the picture too. I’ve come to realize that when they see the same picture they may focus on something other than me!
It is so easy to forget the other parts. Perhaps I just ignore them, even when they may be important.
The second part of the above verse from Leviticus is what Jesus quoted and what most people remember, “love your neighbor as yourself.” That part of the verse is critical. But the verse has two other parts.
The first part of the verse is so practical. When someone, anyone, wrongs me, I am told to “not seek revenge.” I wish that our world could put that into practice. The first part isn’t done. I am also not even to “bear a grudge against anyone.” Wow. So when someone I know or don’t know wrongs me for any reason, I am told to basically let it go. That type of situation really sets up the BIG command to love my neighbor as myself. I guess that includes neighbors who have wronged me.
The third part of the verse really underscores and emphasizes the first and second parts. You see, it was the LORD Himself giving Moses this verse. God is serious.
I believe that this truth speaks not only to this particular verse, but to the entire Bible. It is so easy for me to ignore the parts that I am not comfortable with or that I simply am not familiar with. I sometimes want to only look at God’s love without looking at everything else. For me, that really helps me to stay motivated to continually read the entirety of the Bible, through and through, over and over. I don’t want to forget any of the parts.
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for wanting to focus only on what I want to focus on in Your word. Instead, may I embrace the fullness of Your word and seek to understand and apply, through the guidance of Your Holy Spirit, all parts of the Bible.