Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

I've been in discussion with some people on Facebook about how bullying fat people is acceptable. Someone who isn't fat said she was bullied for being too skinny, and it made me wonder, why is it okay to judge others based on looks? Why is okay to bully, period? And it was a simple answer. There's just not enough love in the world.

I'm sure that you've heard of the Love Chapter in the Bible before, 1 Corinthians 13, and I'm sure that most of you have heard it being referenced in weddings or church at some point in your life. But have you really thought about what it says?

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
Did you see that? Without love, we are nothing! You can have everything, every spiritual gift, every natural gift, but if you don't love, you're nothing.

So what does love do?

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. (1 Corinthian 13: 4-8 NKJV)
Don't you think that if there were more love in the world, we wouldn't have to deal with the awful things that happen to us?

But love goes deeper than this. It's actually a commandment given to us by God. It's a law that we love one another.

As you can see by this list, God has commanded us to love in these verses:

Leviticus 19:28

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: 

Matthew 22: 36-40

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, 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.”

 Mark 12:30-33
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no other commandment greater than these.”
So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

John 13:34

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

I think it's safe to say that we ought to love God first and then love people as much as we love ourselves. But how much do you love yourself? Do you tend to love others more or less than yourself? If these verses say that you ought to love others as much as you love yourself, how much are you lacking in love towards yourself or others?

Let's go back to what love does? Are you kind towards yourself or others? Do you behave rudely to yourself or others? Are you puffed up in anyway? Do you rejoice in truth? Believe? Hope? Endure? Are you love?

I think we need to just sit back and think about this love. We can't love God without loving others. It's impossible, so if we can't love the woman who is overweight or too skinny, or someone has committed a crime, how can we say that the love of God is in us? That we love God? We can't.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.(Romans 12:9)

Spread the love today. In everything you do, love. Because love makes the world a better place.

Let all that you do be done with love. (1 Corinthians 16:14)

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