“The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:31
The command to “love your neighbor as yourself” is found commonly throughout the Bible, in fact, it is found in eight different places throughout the Scriptures. The command to “love your neighbor as yourself” is so important that our Lord, Jesus Christ, actually coupled it with the command to love God with all one’s “heart, soul, and mind” (Mark 12:30-31).
Our neighbors are those who are around us daily, those who live in our state and in our country, with no restrictions of race, social status, or background (Luke 10:25-37). In other words, our neighbors are the very people who make up our society and culture around us.
When some believers think about loving one’s neighbor to them it means just feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, providing shelter for the homeless, and offering help to the poor. Although these are all good and honorable ways to love one’s neighbor this is not in totality what it means to love one’s neighbor.
Another important facet of loving one’s neighbor that is often neglected is looking out for their wellbeing. This means not only being occupied by our own interests but also being concerned about the interest of others (Philippians 2:4).
We must not sidestep around controversial issues in our culture today and remain silent about issues that are in direct contradiction to the Word of God out of fear of conflict with our neighbors. As believers, we are called to love our neighbors and this command certainly entails looking out for our neighbor’s wellbeing and interest, and speaking truth into their lives even when it is hard.
LET US PRAY…
Father, empower us to truly and in totality love our neighbor. Lord, help us to love our neighbor enough to speak and advocate for truth so that our neighbors may flourish under Your principles. Father, may You be glorified in all of our efforts to love and care for our neighbors. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.