What exactly did Jesus mean when He made the statement “Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself”? I’ve heard different interpretations of this love-filled statement. Some have asked if it means putting someone else first before themselves no matter what, while some others have questioned why another person should be placed in a position of more concern than they themselves.
The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.
According to the verse of the scripture above, loving yourself and your neighbor is a “second”, which definitely means there’s a first of the greatest commandment. Before we get to the place of loving ourselves and others, there’s someone we have to love. Why? Loving Him makes it easy for us to love as many persons there are in the world!
And you shall love the Lord your God out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your life) and out of and with all your mind (with your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. This is the first and principal commandment.
Loving God is principal for us as His children. If you don’t see the importance of loving Him, how then will your relationship with Him look like?
It’s understandable that some situations may arise and they sometimes make you turn your back on the Father. In situations like this, what you do matters. Do you let yourself wallow in guilt and give the devil room to drown you in the sea of condemnation? No!!! Don’t remain there! You have received the Father’s love when He sent His son to die for you. Run to the Father for forgiveness and put the whole of your heart, mind, soul, and strength in pouring your love on Him. How then do you show your love for God?
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
Your total obedience to all that He commands and desires is the best way to show how much you love Him. To the carnal man, this is impossible except such a man turns and is helped by the Holy Spirit. This means once you have the Holy Spirit, love is a fruit you produce. Love for God, for yourself and everyone around you.
Imagine the level of emotional and mental stress hatred brings to the human heart, why not choose love always?