What Is Love?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.
(Mark 12:30-31 – NIV)

How is this possible? There are people who drive us nuts. Some are downright toxic. I know what we all consider love. It’s that feeling of joy and warmth when we are with or thinking of someone special. I believe this love we’ve been commanded to show our neighbors is a different type of love. He didn’t say, “Feel love for your neighbor.”

“For God so loved the world that He GAVE”…. I believe that the love God wants us to have for the world is a verb. An action. To give.

So, to answer the question of how to love others as ourselves, we must first ask, “How do I love myself?” I take care of my physical needs, my spiritual needs, and my emotional needs.

How can we show this self-love to others? Lend a hand when it’s needed, leave a bag of groceries on the doorstep of someone you know is having a hard time financially. Smile at people and you may have brightened their whole day. Be polite to everyone, whether you like them or not. Show some respect until they have proven they are not worthy of it. Then pretend anyway.

Actually listen to others instead of; answering our cell phone, reading a text message, or zoning them out because we think they are boring. Even if you’ve heard that story or complaint a thousand times, what does it hurt to show some common courtesy? It doesn’t cost anything, won’t hurt you, and can actually help you develop patience.

The Lord asked, “What hath darkness to do with light?” I don’t believe He expects or even wants us to subject ourselves to people who do evil, hurtful, things to us or the ones we love. Just show them that self-love when we must interact with them. And don’t forget to remind them that Jesus love them, too.