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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.

2010

Recommendations

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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