And Jesus replied to him, “‘Y OU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
MATTHEW 22:37-40 AMP
Praise the Lord it’s Sunday! Take time out of your day today to show God how much you love him.
Jesus teaches us to love our neighbors, but have you ever felt this commandment is easy to say, but hard to do? Have you wondered if it is even possible to love everyone? I came across this poem by D. H. Lawrence that sums up how we feel sometimes.
Love Thy Neighbour
I love my neighbour
are these things my neighbours?
these two-legged things that walk and talk and eat and cachinnate*,
and even seem to smile, seem to smile, ye gods!
Am I told that these things are my neighbours?
All I can say then is Nay! nay! nay! nay! nay!
D. H. Lawrence
This poem is a little humorous, but you get the point. I have heard people say, “how can we have world peace if we can’t even love our neighbors.” Interesting point! The first step to loving your neighbor is loving God. When we love God, we want to do what is pleasing to him. Plus, we can ask him for help. The second step is to allow yourself to mentally walk in the shoes of the other person. We don’t all look the same or have the same experiences. So, we don’t think alike. That’s good. Can you imagine how boring it would be if we all thought alike. Third step is to love yourself without putting all the emphasis on yourself. Don’t hang on everyone’s last word. Finally, pray for help, walk with God and practice. So, in case you’re wondering who your neighbor is, Edith Stein says it well. “Whoever is near us and needing us must be our ‘neighbor’; it does not matter whether he is related to us or not, whether he is morally worthy of our help or not. The love of Christ knows no limits. It never ends; it does not shrink from ugliness and filth.”
As you praise God today, remember to love everyone around you. God bless you!
D.H. Lawrence, “Love Thy Neighbor” from The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence, edited by Vivian de Sola Pinto and F. Warren Roberts. Copyright © 1964, 1971 by Angelo Ravagli and C. M. Weekley, Executors of the Estate of Frieda Lawrence Ravagli. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.