Love your Neighbor
I don’t know about you, but for me, it can be very easy to love myself. I understand myself better than anyone. I know my needs, my preferences, my desires, and my point of view. If I am going to be honest, it’s not that hard to live with a me-focused life. I am sure you can relate. But when I take time to read God’s word and learn his purpose for me, I am often reminded that Jesus taught us to live completely opposite by giving us a clear path to take the back seat and allow others to be first in our lives; to love ourselves less and others more. Jesus challenges us to live a life where we love others and treat others the way we would want to be treated (Yes this means allowing your spouse to share your ice cream with you). He encourages us to love our neighbor the way we love ourselves. That’s crazy, but you know what? He takes it even a step further. Jesus not only wants us to love those who are easy to love but to love those who are hard to love. We can all think of that person right now, you know who I am talking about. It could be that difficult co-worker, that obnoxious parent at your kid’s soccer game, or the person who just simply cut you off while you were reading this blogpost driving in your car. No matter who they are we are challenged to love them and to love them the same way we love ourselves.
Look at Jesus’ words in Matthew:
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:36-40
What a challenge! I know this can be so hard at times, but we must choose to love others the way we love ourselves and the way Christ loved us. Take some time today and ask God to help you love others, to reveal to you those people who you have been cold towards, and to change your heart. After all, the goal is to become more like Christ and what better way to do that than to choose love?