In Matthew, chapter 22 we find Jesus addressing some the Sadducees and Pharisees.
“One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matt. 22:25-40)
I wish I was better at loving. I’m pretty insecure and I’m sure that’s what keeps me from truly loving my neighbor as myself.
As I read this command to love God and love others, I realize that most of the time, I’m only following the second half of the command for personal gain. It’s embarrassing to admit, but it’s true. Many times when I am actually loving my neighbor, I’m doing it so they’ll like me. It’s not authentic and it’s not where I want to be.
I’ve recently started “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan. It’s a convicting book to say the least. It’s got me thinking about whether or not I can truly love my neighbor without getting anything in return. In other words, can I love my neighbor if he doesn’t like me?
Francis explains that it all comes down to the first commandment, loving God. However, not really just loving God, but falling in love with God. Like 1 John 4:19 reads, “We love because he first loved us.” Chan uses an incredible amount of Scriptural evidence like this, to get the reader to understand the magnitude of God’s love for us.
I’m gradually learning that if I could focus my time and energy on loving God, then perhaps I wouldn’t have to worry so much about my motivation for loving my neighbour.
What do you find difficult about loving others?