"For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?"
A little reminder from God that when he commanded us to love our neighbors, he didn't mean that we could pick and choose which ones to love. He meant all of them... no matter their social or economic level, no matter their mistakes or sins, no matter their physical or mental health. No matter what other labels are heaped up in their names... we need to love them... ALL of them.
Stephen Covey has a saying, "Seek first to understand, and then to be understood." A pretty good saying, but I remember at one of my past companies a man who I heard in the hall, yelling at another: "Seek first to understand ME . . ." It doesn't work that way. We can't go around applying good lessons to other people and not to ourselves. In fact, just the opposite is true... applying lessons to other people's lives is the same as judging them... which we can do, if we are ready to be judged in like manner by God. Personally, I don't think I am ready for that. When we love other people, we can't demand that they love us in return, and we can't demand that they live as we know that we, personally, should. We have to love them as they are, to help them where we can, and to pray for them as fervently as we pray for ourselves. God is the only one who can change someone's heart... and he uses much more delicate methods than the bricks we usually hurl.
Today, let's love even those that are the hardest to love... usually those are the ones most in need of it.