Mark 12:31 explicitly states ” the second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” The most important commandment is “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” This passage is from Mark 12:30. These are the two greatest commandments God instructs us humans to follow. Love the Lord my God with all my might and love my neighbor as I would love myself. I wish and pray for all my fellow brethren on earth to come to know and love the Lord my God. For the sake of the all the different beliefs currently in the world, I wish to focus on the second greatest commandment.
Let us break down Mark 12:31. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” What does that mean? How should I interpret that? How should I love my neighbor? How should I love myself? 1 John 4:19 states, “We love because God first loved us.” God loved us first; we are able to love because God loves us. How do we love ourselves? Ephesians 5:29 says, “For no one has ever hated his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, as the Messiah does the church.” Proverbs 19:8 states, “To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.” Loving oneself is understanding that God loves us and he beautifully and wonderfully created each one us. Loving oneself is also caring for and nourishing the body, mind and soul through wisdom and self confidence and appreciation. Who is it that hates thyself, does not love thyself. If you love yourself, you will be inclined to take care of, respect thyself and understand thyself.
The questions now remain, How do I love my neighbor as myself? Why should I love my neighbor as myself? If you love yourself, so you should yourself. If you hate your neighbor, do you not hate yourself? How can you love yourself, but not your neighbor? I cannot specifically answer these questions for each person. Allow me to provide you thoughts, concerns and potential answers to questions you might have.
Mark 12:31 says “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
What it did not say is:
- Love only those that are the color as you
- Christians only love Christians, atheists only love atheist, etc.
- Love only those who are the same gender as you
- Love only those who identify as a like sexuality as you
- Love only those who are your fellow natural birth countrymen
- Love only those who share the same beliefs as you
- Love only those who root for the same team as you
I could go on and on about what Mark 12:31 does not say. I could sit here and say I have lived by the commandment perfectly and without judgement. I could say I have never turned a blind eye or shrugged off thoughts and actions of loving/not loving my neighbor. We are all sinners. We all judge one another. It is a natural human inclination to sin and judge each other.
-Luke 6:31 says, “Do to others as you would them do to you.”
We all have different beliefs, opinions, creeds, cultures, languages, values, etc.. There is not a need to agree on everything in life. We should not expect one another to share each others beliefs nor support them entirely. God created each and every one us to be different. In groups, we may share similar values and beliefs. As a whole, we should come to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Because I do not believe or support your way of life or beliefs, does not mean I cannot love you. This goes for all of us.
WE DO NOT HAVE TO AGREE
WE DO NOT HAVE TO SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER ENTIRELY
What we need to do is simple.
-LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF-
It does not matter if you are white, black, brown, yellow or red; it does not matter if you straight, gay or bi-sexual, it does not matter if you are liberal or conservative; it does not matter if you are an American, Mexican, Indian, Brazilian, etc.; these are simply variations that make us unique and different. Could you imagine the world if we were exactly identical? How boring it would be?
We all have to live on this earth. Where else would we go? Other than the differences in color, creed, culture, values, we are not so different. We all bleed red. We all need water. We all breath oxygen. We all will leave this world the same.
The premise is simple. Love your neighbor as yourself. If you do not love your neighbor because is black, how can you love yourself because you are white? If you do not love your neighbor because she is from Mexico, how can you love yourself for being from the United States. We do not choose were we are born. We do not choose our parents. We do not choose the color of our skin. We do not choose male or female.
WE DO CHOOSE OUR ATTITUDE!
WE CAN CHOOSE TO LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR AS OURSELVES!
-Love Will Have the Final Word-