Love thy Neighbor 

One day, a very wise man was asked what the greatest commandment is. He answered with two commandments rather than one. He saidChair of the Board for the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Nathan Manlove the greatest and first commandment is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Then He said the second greatest commandment is like the first: “love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Why is the chamber chair of the board writing about the greatest commandments? 

I need daily reminding that I am to love God first. I need daily reminding that I’m also to love my neighbors.  

Our world is polarized – over politics, over health issues, over money, over race, over faith, over (fill in the blank). You name it, and we’ll figure out how to be polarized over it. New Braunfels is not immune to polarization. Just visit any number of social media websites that focus on our community, and you’ll see it. Or attend a City Council meeting. Or sit down with some friends at a local bar and say “vaccine” or “growth.”   

I believe, here in New Braunfels, we should be better than this. 

If I focus on loving God first and my neighbor as much as myself, how could I ever belittle someone on social media? Would I do that to God? To myself? Can I spread dissension about someone within groups I contact? Would I do that to God? Would I speak poorly about myself like that?  

The good news is that there’s another side to this. If I’m focused on loving God first and my neighbor as much as myself, how could I not thank people who are working hard for New Braunfels? Would I thank God for helping our community? Would I like to be thanked? Can I not go out of my way to volunteer to make our city the best it can be? Shouldn’t I be empathetic and civil to people with whom I disagree? Couldn’t I let somebody in while I’m driving around The Plaza? 

What I say and constantly hear about New Braunfels is that it has a “small-town feel,” and it does. What gives our town that personality is its people. It’s running into people we know at the grocery store, at Wurstfest, around a table at Krause’s, or at church. It’s people caring enough about this town to volunteer to serve it. It’s people who can disagree and still sing an Ein Prosit together. As the people of New Braunfels, it’s up to us to maintain our “small-town feel.” How do we do that? We love.  

Nathan Manlove 
2021 Chamber Chair of the Board