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Put love forward, not ego

The skyline of New York has changed, and apparently it’s going to change some more.

How is this possible? The answer: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Freedom of religion. Freedom of speech. Rights and privileges as Americans.

These are powerful statements. Powerful thoughts. Our way of life! The verse that comes to my heart is that we should esteem others higher than ourselves.

To esteem others, in light of your faith, would mean to be considerate to all, not just thinking that we have the liberty to do what we want, when we want, because we have the right to do so.

Let me explain through a story about a man who is on a walk in the High Sierra Mountains. Let’s say, along his path he comes across a majestic statue showing the power, the poise, and the beauty of the great brown bear.

With further investigation, he learns that there is a family who has lost a loved one to a brown bear near that site. The family was deeply hurt that this statue was allowed to be there.

The explanation of this was that the activists had the right to erect the statue in whatever location they desired, and that the monument was an expression of that freedom.

What is your first impulse to that story? Do you think that the brown bear, in the vastness of the High Sierra, could have been placed at a different location, showing its beauty and splendor?

The Bible teaches us that esteeming others higher than yourself is Christ-like. He placed our needs above His own, as clearly seen in John 3:16.

Though we may have the right of religion and the freedom of it, does that mean that we can put it in someone else’s face at the site of their pain? Have rights become wrongs?

Jesus said, “They will know that you are mine by your love one to another.” 1 John 4:7-8 says, “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and anyone that loves is born of God and knows God. He that loves not, knows not God for God is love. Beloved, let us love one another.”

Any true faith would promote love and redemption instead of itself. I’m encouraging each one of us to pray diligently. This is a 911 emergency situation, or better yet put, this is a 9-11 situation.

My goodness, what day is today?

• Patrick Propster is pastor of Calvary Chapel – Carson City.