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15 "Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly. 16 Do not go about spreading slander among your people. Do not do anything that endangers your neighbor's life. I am the LORD. 17 Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt. 18 Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD."
said that all the law and the prophets were connected to two
fundamental principles: 1) To love the Lord your God with all your
heart, soul, mind, and strength; and 2) love your neighbor as yourself.
Keeping these primary principles in mind is a great help when reading
through all the laws of Leviticus.
The law of Leviticus
19:15-18 is very straightforward. Be fair to everyone regardless of
social and economic standing. Respect the reputation of others. Guard
against negligence and be careful to protect the well-being of others.
Have goodwill in your heart toward others. Be honest to people who are
in need of rebuke. Don't turn a blind eye to problems or wrongdoing. Be
merciful and gracious and forgiving--letting go of grudges and revenge.
Treat others the way you would want to be treated. Do all of this out of
reverence for God.
Response and Action:True
reverence for God and goodwill toward others go hand in hand. How can I
claim to love God, who is unseen, if I do not love my neighbor who is
right before me? My love for God leads me and calls me to look toward
the best interests of everyone around me.
Lord, help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength,
and to love my neighbor as myself. Help me to remember that my lift
affects the lives of others. Help me to look not only to my own needs
and interests, but also to the needs and interests of others. Help me to
bring good to the lives of my family, my friends, my colleagues, my
neighbors, and even those around me I do not know––at the store, on
the freeway, in the elevator, on the sidewalk, at the gym, in the
library. Make me a blessing to others. Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses:
1 John 4:7-9
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
Love Beyond Reason: Moving God's Love from Your Head to Your Heart
by John Ortberg