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If I am not my “Brother’s Keeper”, then who is? My core value is the belief that I am responsible for my brother. I intend to tie together this main core value with its two underlying core values, I love God, and God loves me.
This writing assignment has become more to me than just a mere exercise! It’s very nature, to explore our core values, has ignited my desire to express my deep-seated, tenderhearted compassion for others. From an early age, I naturally extended love toward others to the degree that my mother would tell me to “Get hard or I will be taken advantage of!”.
Needless-to-say, my mother’s warnings were very disturbing because I did not know how to change. When I got older and read John 13:34-35 in the bible, it became apparent to me that even the bible emphasizes the need for people to love one another. Therefore, the welfare of another person, is my business!
My mother was correct! People do take advantage of each other’s goodwill! Even at an early age, my doctor told me that “I don’t trust anyone”! I have since gained a greater respect and hope in humanity’s capacity to be loving.
Despite my disappointments, I find myself continually extending much grace and forgiveness! I guess that this is the heartache that my mother was trying to spare me from. Writing this essay has afforded me the opportunity to put into perspective that part of my personality that has plagued me for so many years.
As a result, I’ve concluded that I am actually a very kind and loving person!
So where does the love come from? Based on the bible, our capacity to truly love is not natural. We are incapable of loving due to our fallen nature, thus rendering us totally depraved. According to Wikipedia, Total depravity is derived from the concept of original sin. It is the teaching that, as a consequence of the Fall of Man, every person born into the world is enslaved to the service of sin as a result of their fallen nature and, apart from the efficacious or prevenient grace of God, is utterly unable to choose to follow God, refrain from evil, or accept the gift of salvation as it is offered.
Due to our inability to love, God chose to extend love to us because He is love. His love is very different from human love. God’s love is unconditional, and it’s not based on feelings or emotions. To truly love someone takes great effort. We must know and receive God’s love for us first before we can love others. Love is not something we are born with but something we learn through our rebirth and connection with God. In fact, we must be born of God to “love” others in the proper ways. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)
As John 13:34-35 states, we are instructed to love our brother. Personally, I see the connection that exists amongst all men. Not only is this bond experiential, but the bible speaks of it extensively. We are connected on many levels! When I look into another person’s eyes, I see beyond superficial physical boundaries. What exists, is an empathy and a bond that surpasses even brief encounters. For the sake of another person we must extend our love because love has the power to nurture and heal. Therefore, the welfare of another person is my business. This love is a gift from God to help our brother. Therefore, I can conclude that my personal feelings of heartfelt compassion are a gift from God.
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