"A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" - Matthew 22:39 (NLT)
I've never been so embarrassed in my life.
One day, as I was strolling down the sidewalk in Manhattan, I noticed a man look at me as he was walking in the opposite direction. As I passed by him, he quickly turned around and chased after me.
My headphones were on, but I heard him trying to get my attention. I didn't want to be rude to the man, but if I'm honest, I wasn't interested in what he had to say so I kept walking.
The guy was persistent, though. He kept chasing after me.
I decided to stop and turn around because he clearly wasn't going anywhere. I took my headphones off my ears and waited for the man to say some corny pick-up line.
The joke was on me.
"Excuse me," he said. "You have toilet paper hanging out the back of your jeans."
Oh. My. Goodness. 😱
I was so humiliated. It's one thing to have a piece of toilet paper trailing under your shoe, but having it hang out of the back of your pants is another level of embarrassment.
After a moment of wanting to disappear, I quickly grabbed the piece of toilet paper and said thank you to the man.
He could've let me continue walking down the street like that, especially because I was ignoring him, but he didn't. Although my ego was bruised, I really appreciated him.
I don't take things like that lightly. There have been times when I've walked around all day with lipstick on my teeth, and not one person I spoke to said anything to me about it.
Yes, a person will probably be embarrassed if you tell them to "XYZ," but they'll also be thankful.
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" - Matthew 22:36-39
In a simple act of kindness, the man displayed love toward me, his neighbor. And the terrible part about it is before I knew that his intentions were pure, I wrongly judged him.
I love the story of how the Israelites defeated the Amalekites in Exodus 17. The people of Israel were camped at a place called Rephidim and were being attacked by the Amalekites.
So, Moses told Joshua to gather up some men to fight. Then, he climbed to the top of a nearby hill and held up the staff of God.
As long as the staff was up, the Israelites were winning, but whenever Moses lowered it, the Amalekites started winning. The battle must've been going on for hours because scripture says that Moses' arms got tired, and he was no longer able to hold them up.
But here's the awesome part: Aaron, Moses' brother, and another man, Hur, got a stone for Moses to sit on and held up his hands for him.
Now that's love.
My prayer today is that we will always be the kind of people who will go out of our way to help others—even when it's inconvenient or embarrassing to do so. And if a friend is weak, let's be strong for them.
When we love our neighbors, they see God because God is love.
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Do great things with God.
*This post was originally published on 7/17/18, and updated on 7/28/20