Love your neighbour … as you love yourself

neighbor

“‘Love your neighbour as you love yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than this,” (Mark 12:31). This verse is one of the most spoken parts of the Bible, yet do we actually do as it tells us?

The first part, I find, is the easiest part. Loving your neighbour has a vast range of meanings and can be shown in so many ways. Whether it is offering to mow the lawn for someone on your road or helping to distribute warm food and drink to people living on the streets, we are loving our neighbour. Most of the time we will do things for others without a second thought, especially if we have a generous and giving nature and love to serve the people around us.

However, this is only half of the verse. I know that there are a lot of ways to analyse Mark 12:31 by saying that we need to love others more, show others the same level of care and compassion as we do ourselves. Even so, for me, I often feel that I put others before myself and that I remember to love other people but not myself.

This may be due to the places I have been in but I think it is important to emphasise that God is telling us to look after ourselves and other people equally. He loves us for who are, for where are and what we are doing and He wants us to be fully equipped to spread His love which means we need to be looking after ourselves to keep our energy and passion for Him at the highest levels possible.

So whichever part of this you find hardest, whether it be loving your neighbour or making sure you love yourself as much as you are showing love to others, make an effort in the coming days and weeks to fulfil the whole command.

Hopefully, doing so will make you feel better, as a person and in yourself. And if we all love our neighbour as we love ourselves, perhaps the world will become a better, happier place.

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