Love, The Christian Trademark
Category : General
Mark 12: 31 (KJV)
31And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
It is said that when the story of West India slavery was told to the Moravians, and it was told that it was impossible to reach the slave population because they were so separated from the ruling classes, two Moravian missionaries offered themselves, and said: “We will go and be slaves on the plantations, and work and toil, if need be, under the lash, to get right beside the poor slaves and instruct them.” And they left their homes, went to the West Indies, went to work on the plantations as slaves, and by the side of slaves, to get close to the hearts of slaves; and the slaves heard them, and their hearts were touched, because they had humbled themselves to their condition.
Who is my neighbor? What is my duty to my neighbor? It includes: What is the measure of duty to your neighbor? “To love him as yourself.” Self-love is thus lawful and excellent, and even necessary. It is not the disposition which leads unregenerate man to gratify vicious appetites and passions. This is rather self-hatred. Nor that which leads us to grasp at all advantages, regardless of the consequences to others. This is selfishness. But that principle which is inseparable from our being; by which we are led to promote our own happiness, by avoiding evil and acquiring the greatest possible amount of good. This is the measure for our neighbor. While avoiding everything that would injure him in body, family, property, reputation, seek to do him all the good you can, and do it in the way in which you would promote your own welfare.
Christ here gave a summary of the Decalogue, equating the first four commandments with the love of God and the last six with the love of neighbor. Jesus’ answer, however, is far more than a mere summary of ancient law. Without love, first of God, and then of other human beings, there can be no unity with God who IS love. Moreover, Jesus’ mention of a second commandment is more than a mere gratuitous extension of his answer to the scribe’s question; for the first and second commandments are a compound unity. Can a man love God and hate his neighbor? “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, cannot love God whom he hath not seen” (1 John 4:20).
We are to love all others as we love ourselves. The Law assumed that every person has a fundamental love for himself or herself. We demonstrate this love by caring for ourselves in many different ways. Loving our neighbors as ourselves does not mean spending the same time or money to meet the needs of others that we do to meet our own needs since this would be impossible. It means treating others as we treat ourselves. Do you truly love?
Have a great and God filled day!