To Love Or Not To Love
“. . . love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:31
Our capacity to love and hate are the same. We are capable of actualizing either with great passion and fervency. We tend to love the ones who love us, and hate the ones that hate us. Had it not been for Jesus raising an obscure line of the law from the book of Leviticus, we would never know there was another measure of love for us to live out. Christ breathed new meaning into the words love, neighbor and self.
Deliberate resolve to love
This command assumes that power to love is within our control. It’s not so much a matter of temperament or personality, but rather a deliberate choice to love this way. Love is a choice we can show – open-hearted, helpful, generous and kind – to everyone we meet, or we can be spiteful, mean and selfish. The choice is ours, but we know which way Christ chooses. He makes it the most distinctive trait of His disciples. To the proportion we love Jesus, we will be a friend to others and a helper to those in trouble.
Displayed in relationship to others
All the strife, suspicion, misery and hate between classes and race is in failing to realize that no one is an island; we neither live by ourselves, nor love by ourselves. It’s in relationship with others we understand ourselves. Isolation is the lie that keeps the world in chains. So, let us be kind to each other, because most are trying to fight hard battles alone.
Developed in regard to self
There is a sense in which you are expected to love and respect yourself. Your soul is of infinite value to God, you have no business being careless with it. Your soul is yours to cultivate and train to honor him. We will never love until, by the power of God’s love, we bring our capacity into captivity to the obedience to Christ. The command to love calls us to love ourselves in righteousness, as one who God loves. And then, to love others as ourselves.
Do you love yourself as God loves you?