What does it mean to me to, “love your neighbor as yourself”? (Leviticus
19:18, NIV) It means do for others what I do for myself. In what ways might this be difficult?
I ordered a $5.60 banana loaf from the Jaycees’ annual pastry sale. A neighbor did not order anything. I plan to give him a third or fourth of my banana loaf – half would be too difficult.
I did not order a cheese cake because it is so tiny I would have wanted to eat it all. I could not justify doing that with $16.50 of our LORD’s money. Additionally, I could not in good conscience cut a Christian brother a paper-thin slice. Unfortunately, I also knew greed would never allow me to share a hearty piece of mouthwatering deliciousness. Too bad the command is not, “Love your best friend as yourself.” I could halve a cheese cake with a best friend.
Our LORD has set for us a standard of behavior beyond what humans are able to do apart from Him. The standard is right. The world would be beautiful if all people lived Jesus’s Golden Rule: “… do to others what you would have them do to you…” (Matthew 7:12, NIV). Tragically, God’s standard is impossible for us because we are broken. Even if all the people of the world loved us the way they love themselves, we would still not be able to always choose to love others as ourselves. We are morally broken, and completely dependent on the Holy Spirit to achieve God’s standard.
When the time comes, it will be a most blessed honor to share, by the power of the Holy Spirit, a third or fourth of my banana loaf. Praise our LORD for the love of His Holy Spirit within us. Amen.
EDITORS NOTE: You can write to the author by using the address below, exactly as written:
Josoph Henry, AS-1498
1000 Follies Rd.
Dallas, PA 18612