25 reasons Christians avoid ‘loving your neighbor’


Reason #14 not to love my neighbor: She can actually walk in stilettos.

It’s easy for me to think of excuses not to love my neighbor.

So I was really set back on my heels over the weekend when I was talking to an older Christian friend who lives in a group home. That lifestyle means constant adaptation to new housemates and even new roommates. Let’s just say: I find marriage a great way to evade that particular stress.

But my friend speaks with great affection of all his current and past roommates and housemates and house managers — including the current roommate who is sliding into dementia, whose speech is almost incomprehensible. And when I asked how he manages to do it, he said:

“It’s simple. It’s Jesus‘ commandment: Love one another. I just try to do that.”


Because I can think of at least 49 reasons to avoid doing what Jesus says.

1. She’s driving as if the parking lot is a freeway.

2. He’s driving as if the freeway is a NASCAR track.

3. He’s spilling on his shirt again.

4. He’s wearing a shirt with stains on it again.

5. She STILL hasn’t answered my e-mails or my voice messages and I can’t find her anywhere.

6. He voted for [fill in the blank].

7. She was telling an obnoxious lie about me when I walked in — and didn’t even have the decency to shut up when I arrived!

8. He’s got a comb-over …

11. She thinks she’s so perfect!

12. He can’t talk about anything except his grandchildren.

13. My cats — both of them — are more intelligent than his grandchildren.

14. She’s able to walk on stilettos.

15. His worst insults are so understated, most people don’t even know they’ve been hit with a relationship bomb.

16. Her idea of “home improvement” is taking out the trash.

17. His idea of “housework” is taking out the trash.

18. Blah blah blah blah … I’m not sure what she just said but she’s been on a roll for … what is it now, 22 minutes? Is that a new record?

19. Talking with him is like watching rocks form.

20. Her kids are totally out of control.

21. His kids are like little Stepford kids.

22. Any little mistake and you’re toast with him.

23. I can’t get involved in that drama.

24. If I help one person, I’ll just end up surrounded by “takers.”

25. Who wants to ‘love your neighbor’ when Simon Cowell always looks like he’s having all the fun?

That’s just the first 25 excuses I can think of. What ones come to your mind? How do you manage to love imperfect people instead of living your excuses?


About Carlene Byron

Writer, editor, publicist, communications project manager ... I've written technology and infrastructure; I used to edit New England Church Life and The New England Christian and I've freelanced to publications ranging from Commonweal to Christianity Today. I'm now living in my hometown in Maine and am speaking about global perspectives on suicide prevention.
This entry was posted in Carlene Byron, faith, life. Bookmark the permalink.