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Try the Jesus way this holiday season

What Jesus would do.

There was a time several years ago when I really wanted to give myself to Jesus. I was in a church, became a deacon, joined Promise Keepers, went on mission trips, and paid my tithings. I attended a two-year Bible study and continued into a third year with the instructor of the course.

But I never really felt I knew what Jesus wanted me to do. One verse always stuck with me. Someone asked Jesus what the most important of the Ten Commandments were. Jesus replied, “Love God and love your neighbor” (Luke 10:27).

OK, God created us, so doing harm to another human did not love God. That one was easy enough. Love your neighbor. I barely know my immediate neighbors (geography), but I’m guessing Jesus’ definitions of neighbors didn’t just mean the folks next door. But I didn’t really see this in my church or my fellow Christians.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Here is a thought I had a couple years ago that would honor Jesus’ request to love your neighbor.

During the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we celebrate the good that has been given to us and the birth of Jesus, make a commitment to love your neighbor.

There are so many ways to love your neighbor. Even just communication, meeting for coffee. If you want to get a little more technical, look up Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, where you’ll learn about shelter, food, security, etc.

Now here comes the good part. During the 17 weeks between Christmas when we celebrate the birth of Jesus and Easter 2011 (April 24), the day we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, deliver on your commitment.

We live in an era when families have so many activities to choose from it can be difficult to find time to love your neighbor. But can we devote 33 percent of the year to acting as Jesus has taught us? By stepping out of our personal comfort zones, and love our neighbors, even anonymously?

I no longer belong to a church, but I still tithe and I still try and love my neighbor. I have volunteered my time and skills for years at a time over my life, and I’ve made some mistakes. But I’ve also had successes and those are the only times I truly feel complacent. Happy Holidays.

Craig Klingler

Peachtree City, Ga.

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