The life of any Christian is all about loving other people with a love that reflects the image of Christ. Christ loved the Jewish Pharisees, but he did not buy into the social culture surrounding him as a Jew. Jesus did not consider the Pharisees to be greater people than himself, although society’s influence taught otherwise.
Christ loved the Samaritan woman at the well, but again he did not buy into the social culture surrounding him. Jesus did not consider the Samaritan woman to be a person of less worth than himself. Jesus perfectly loved his neighbor as himself.
So many times the best of Christians buy into social lies instead of simply loving other people. Instead of finding the courage to ask clarifying questions, like Jesus did, one will make assumptions and allow gossip to strangle one’s ability to love others freely.
Perfect love casts out all fear. Going through life while speculating on other people’s motives is not living a life that reflects the love of Christ. Such speculation is often a projection of one’s own unacknowledged shadow side. It is always easier to project all that is unattractive within oneself, onto innocent strangers. Jesus Christ loved himself perfectly. He acknowledged his humanity by embracing the fullness of human nature. There was nothing about humanity that Christ rejected.
To live a genuine Christian life, one must be able to constantly examine when one’s ability to love others is strangled by social lies, or one’s own unacknowledged shadow side. Fear, suspicion, deceit, rejection of others are all examples of times when one’s gaze has been distracted from God the Father. There is more to the Christian life than salvation. Salvation is just the beginning of the journey into loving God, others, and oneself with the love of Christ.