When was the last time you were jealous of yourself?
When was the last time you compared yourself to yourself?
When was the last time you coveted something you had?
Sounds silly right?
So why do we do it to others when Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself? Hmm never thought about that did you?
In the book of Matthew chapter 22 a lawyer tried to test Jesus and asked him what was the greatest commandment. Let’s read Jesus response:
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 ESV)
The second great commandment is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
What is love? Well we know that God is love but what does that mean for us who are human. The Apostle Paul describes love for us:
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV)
Whoa! Those 3 little verses are convicting aren’t they?
Let’s break them down, shall we.
Love is patient and kind.
So I am thinking that makes me unloving and unkind when I’m behind the woman at the grocery store with 8000 coupons and asking for a price check on 3 items and I only want to buy 1 thing so I’m grumbling and getting angry.
Love does not envy or boast.
So that covers both ends of the same issue really. Don’t get upset because you can’t have what someone else has and don’t be flaunting what you have.
It is not arrogant or rude.
So I’m thinking road rage is not a good thing to have.
It does not insist on its own way.
What? But I’m an American! You know the saying “Have it your way”. Yeah, I’m thinking that only works at Burger King.
It is not irritable or resentful.
But that person just talked down to me and made me upset! Umm, no! Somehow the sermon on the mount comes to mind. That’s Matthew chapter 5, you should read that today.
It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Doing wrong is like a joke to a fool, but wisdom is pleasure to a man of understanding. (Proverbs 10:23 ESV) let’s not be fools, amen?
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. (Psalm 51:6 ESV)
God delights in truth so we should too. Also did you know that Jesus said that He is truth? He did! Let’s read: Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6 ESV)
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Yes that is a tall order! But it is possible when we have God in our life and surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7 ESV) If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” (John 14:7 ESV)
That’s a lot to chew on today isn’t it. But it’s something I believe we need to get into our spirits. If we are to be the light of the world we will only reveal that light through love. I’m not there yet? Are you?
To be continued.