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The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor

Seeing Others Through the Eyes of Jesus

by Mark Labberton

Jesus did­n’t see a sick woman, he saw a daugh­ter of God. He did­n’t see an out­cast from soci­ety, he saw a child of Israel. He did­n’t see a sin­ner, he saw a per­son in the image of the Creator.

Are we able to see oth­ers with the eyes of Jesus?

See­ing right­ly is the begin­ning of renew­al, for­give­ness, heal­ing and grace. See­ing right­ly, says Mark Lab­ber­ton, is the begin­ning of how our hearts are changed. Through care­ful self-exam­i­na­tion in the Spir­it, we begin to bear the fruit of love toward oth­ers that can make a dif­fer­ence. Here is a chance to reflect on why our ordi­nary hearts can be com­pla­cent about the evils in the world and how we can begin to see the world like Jesus.

With each chap­ter bro­ken into brief seg­ments punc­tu­at­ed by ques­tions, this book is ide­al for both per­son­al reflec­tion and group discussion.

See what hap­pens when you take a chance on the dan­ger­ous act of lov­ing your neigh­bor. Your vision might just be changed forever.



Labberton’s latest sports a provocative title, much on the order of his earlier work, The Dangerous Act of Worship (2007). But this one seems to deviate from its suggested intent, offering only a few anecdotes involving personal encounters with immediate neighbors. Many more examples relate to oppression and injustice being done to “neighbors” in a much larger global community, and in some ways, this makes the act of loving seem somewhat remote. At points, the book also veers away from its suggested Jesus-specific vision, citing several passages from the Old Testament. Even so, each chapter provides specific exercises containing truly insightful questions. It is these structured inquiries that are most likely to provoke readers to examine personal perceptions as well as behaviors and passive indifference that can lead to oppression and injustice. Operating as a workbook for personal growth, this may very well help promote change for a better world.
Susan DeGrane

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