3 Ways to Bring God's Love to Our Neighbours
"Jesus said ... 'You 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 great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.'" – Matthew 22:37-40
The Lord Jesus has told us Christians to love our neighbours the way we love ourselves. For sure many of us try to do that, facing some sort of hurt or fatigue once in a while. That's very normal, but more so if we love them the wrong way.
Wrong Ways to Love Your Neighbour
Based on what Jesus said in the passage, there are wrong ways to love our neighbours. Here are some of them:
• Loving our neighbours with the love we should reserve for God;
• Loving ourselves without loving our neighbours; and
• Loving our neighbours more than ourselves.
The first mistake is what we call "idolatry." When we love others with the love that we should be reserving for God alone, they become idols in our lives. They become a higher priority than God in terms of our time, talents, treasure, and thoughts.
The second mistake is called "selfishness." When we prioritise ourselves and say it's so that we'd learn to love others, we're only fooling ourselves. Selfishness will never ever have room for others.
The third mistake is called "foolishness." Seriously, if you love others more than you love yourself you'll be giving to them what rightfully belongs to you. This is also idolatry, because the only person you should love more than yourself is God alone.
So How Do I Love My Neighbours?
By following what the Lord Jesus said in the passage. Here are a few ways we can love them with the love that God wants us to love them with.
1. Love God Above All, Even Yourself
How can this be a part of this? Simple – if you are full of the love of God you can't stop but feel His love for your neighbour. God's love enables us to go beyond ourselves to extend His grace and mercy to others.
2. Take Care of Yourself
Take good care of yourself in all aspects including physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Set your boundaries. If you do these, you're more prepared to love your neighbour. You also get to establish standards by which you'll be loving others.
Remember the golden rule: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" (Luke 6:31). How you want to be treated is the basis on how you should treat people.
3. Love Your Neighbour
After loving God above all and then preparing yourself to love, it's time to love! Serve others. Speak kindly, do good deeds, and pray for them. Like Jesus, love them with the love that God gives.
Remember what Jesus said to us: "Freely you have received, freely give" (see Matthew 10:8). The love you have freely received from God, you should give freely to others.