Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Eviction from our sandbox"

The Revs. Laurie Brock and Mary Koppel have a fantastic blog that I love reading.  I am often challenged (in a good way) when I go to read their blog "Dirty Sexy Ministry".

Their recent post Not in My Sandbox is an important reminder that "loving your neighbor" does not mean allowing people to do anything to you.  
The full commandment is love God, love your neighbor, and love yourself. Life is about balancing that trifecta. We don't love our neighbor by constantly subjecting ourselves to our neighbor's hurtful behavior towards us. We are simply engaged in the emotional equivalent of constantly poking ourselves in the eye when we do that. 
Love is about care and nurture. We too often limit love to being some kind of friendship, like loving our neighbor means we have to invite our neighbor, the one who repeatedly has knocked us down the stairs, to dinner, even if we're afraid during the entire meal that s/he's going to throw Brussel sprouts at us and call us names. That isn't loving ourselves, and it's not really loving our neighbor. 
They go on to list some of the people who might need an "eviction" from our lives (with description you should read on their blog) including:
People who constantly give you an inventory of your flaws and shortcomings, while never reflecting on their own.
 People who pursue a romantic relationship with you while "in some way romantically committed to someone else."  (Kurt's paraphrasing) 
Those whose behavior is abusive.
Those who engage in character assassination. 
Just as important, they mention who is NOT on the evection list:
 Those who vote differently from us; those who disagree with us or have another viewpoint; those who are a different ethnicity, religion, race, or sexual orientation; even those who worship differently from us. 
Please consider taking the time to read their whole post.

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