27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ” - Luke 10:27
27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ” Luke 10:27
In a society that puts love yourself first, to love your neighbor is an act of rebellion. People no matter where we are on the spectrum are concerned about “self”. In a time where continued fear of the spread of the COVID-19 virus is still evident, we as humans are creatures of self-preservation habit. Loving ourselves has not been as much of a challenge as loving someone else who we’re not related to. Or, heaven forbid to love someone we don’t like. Our society tells us constantly how we should love ourselves, be about self-care, self-love, selfies, you get the picture.
In a society that puts love yourself first, to love your neighbor is an act of rebellion.
Jesus kind of flipped the script on us however, with the self-love thing in Luke 10. After being tested by a lawyer with the question on how he could obtain eternal life, Jesus directed him to the law of God referring to Leviticus 19:18.
I remember listening to a teaching on How do you Spell “JOY” by the late Pastor and theologian R.C. Sproul. He mentioned that the acronym J.O.Y. could be used in this way: JESUS OTHERS YOURSELF. Oftentimes, however, we reverse it to Y.O.J.: YOURSELF. OTHERS. JESUS. And if we’re honest with ourselves, that’s exactly how we operate! We can easily love and put ourselves first.
Oh how I wish to only have a debt of love, instead of bills.
So what does it look like to love your neighbor as yourself? It doesn’t have to be complicated or elaborate. It can be something as simple as checking up on someone to see if they need anything, especially now.
The other day I went to do a quick grocery run. I knew my neighbor who is elderly and at-risk has not been able to get to the store. I didn’t want to be at the store long, but I didn’t want to leave the store without asking my neighbor if she needed something. Was it convenient, not necessarily? Was I glad I offered, yes!
Throughout Scripture, this concept of loving your neighbor is not only a command in the sense that God ordained it as a part of His law, but it’s one of the most important commands that Jesus gives. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” (Mark 12:31 NLT)
Romans 13:8 reminds us that we should owe no one anything except to love them. Oh how I wish to only have a debt of love, instead of bills! But I digress.
What’s important for us to understand and to remind ourselves during this time or any other time is to consider our fellow person.
Sure we all have a lot going on in the midst of uncertainty. We have the issues that come with our everyday life with family, work, etc… Let’s try to be intentional in loving our neighbor whether that person is your actual next-door neighbor or a stranger at the grocery store. When we do that the other person will be blessed and so will we!