“Love thy neighbour as thyself”
There is so much hatred in the world even among some of us who claim to be Christians. How can we say we are Christians, yet we do not love one another? The first and great commandment is “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.” The second commandment is “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
The thing is if we love one another, there will be peace and less violence in our societies. You see when you don’t love others, you tend not to care about them, and you will not have any compassion for them. Therefore, you may pass people by and don’t show any love towards them.
We have developed so much hatred and dislike towards others simply because of their political persuasion, their nationality, their achievements, the colour of their skin and the list goes on and on. We can overcome so many issues if we love our neighbours as thyself.
Who is your neighbour?
I grew up in a neighbourhood near the Salinas on the island of South Caicos where we loved and cared for one another. Everybody looked out for one another and shared with one another. We did not have much but we did not go to bed hungry for our neighbours were there to provide support in the form of food and food supplies such as sugar, lard, salt, rice, and bread. We could also credit groceries from some of the stores and pay later. Some neighbours fought and rowed but later they would reconcile and continued to express love towards each other. Because we love our neighbours, we did not have the issues we have today.
I loved my neighbours and my neighbours loved me for we were like family. In fact, we were closer with our neighbours than our biological family. This is one of the reasons why I attend funerals when my neighbours die. I don’t like going to funerals but if any of my neighbours die, I would be there.
Now your neighbour does not necessarily mean the person living next door to you. Jesus provided the answer in Luke 10:30-37
In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.
Based on the above scripture, our neighbours are therefore the people who comes in our path.
Love thy neighbour
Now that we know who our neighbours are, let us love them. Show kindness towards others. Help one another. Do not be revengeful. Do not keep people down. If you can help others, help them. Do not attack people especially their personal lives. Be happy for one another. Encourage one another. Do not be envious or jealous of others. Stop letting politics cause you to hate your neighbour, love them despite their political opinions or choices. Stop loving only the people with the same nationality or colour as you. Love all nationalities and love all people no matter the colour of their skin.
Do you wonder why we are in the state we are in? It is because we do not love our neighbours. If you love your neighbours, you will not kill them. If you love your neighbours, you wouldn’t be talking bad about them. If you love your neighbours, you would not be plotting evil against. If you love your neighbour, you will not rejoice in their downfall. .
Loving thy neighbour will resolve many of the conflicts in the world. Therefore, let us try to start today to love our neighbours