Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Do I Really Have to Love My Neighbor?

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

~ Mark 12:30-31
Neighbor's garden I

Sometimes the act of loving someone can be hard, especially if we feel that we have been wronged by a certain someone. Misunderstandings occur, harsh words can be spoken, and a relationship can spiral out of control fast. I've been there before, I'm sure you have too.

In God's word it states that the greatest commandments are to love Him with all our might and to love our neighbor as ourselves. There's a reason why these commands were written in this order, loving God must come first in our lives, without doing this, it's very hard to love our neighbor. 

When we accept Jesus into our lives as Lord and Savior, He wants our all, He doesn't want us to be part-time Christians.

"So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot not cold, I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Revelations 3:16

When we come to the point in our lives of realizing that there is nothing more important than Christ, not family, not wealth, not money, not anything, that's when we can truly love Christ. Once we have the desire to see our relationship with Him grow and flourish through prayer and reading His word, that's when our love for Him will deepen. When we get to this point, it's then we can seek His guidance in how to love our neighbor, even the ones that might seem unlovable.

Loving other's with a Christ like love, becomes easy and like second nature if we are focused on Christ. When we are in His presence it's becomes easy to shower that same love onto others. 

When you run into situations where the act of giving love seems impossible, situations in which you can be treated unjustly and harshly, do you really have to love your neighbor in these situations? Quite frankly, yes. Why......because God's word commands it.

Once we have obeyed the first command we can then obey the second. God's word doesn't state that every situation in our life will be easy, nor will we be treated fairly, but we still must love, because He is love. It's in these situations that we dig down deep into our souls asking the Father for wisdom in what to do, and then follow through on His leading.

There still may be those who won't change from their hurtful ways, but we can rest easy knowing that we have obeyed. It does not necessarily mean that we must stay in hurtful relationships. In prayer seek God's guidance and ask if it's time to walk away. You can still love your neighbor from afar through prayer and by your actions. When they see you continually walking with the Lord, they will know somethings different about you. God is in the business of doing miracles and He can heal situations and restore lives through ways we can not even imagine. All it takes is a willingness for us to obey.

Are you willing to love the Lord above all else and love your neighbor as yourself? Are you willing to show your neighbor selfless acts of love for the glory of God? Have you ever been in a situation when it's difficult to love your neighbor? How has God used you to turn the situation around?

Many Blessings~


1 comment:

  1. Shari, this is wonderful encouragement. It is easy to tolerate my neighbor but I need to truly love them as Christ would.


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