All over scripture we can find the words, ‘love your neighbor as yourself’…
Leviticus 19:18, ‘You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.’
Matthew 19:19 says, ‘Honor your father and mother, and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
And James 2:8 reminds us, ‘If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.’
If I noted each of the many times scripture encourages and directs us with, ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ then writing and reading this post may be the only thing you and I do today. Some verses note word-for-word, ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ and others simply offer heavy implication of the idea. It may sound exhausting to think of repeat instructions, but the beautiful thing about that, is the fact that when something is repeated over and over it’s often for our own good and to navigate us in the correct way. In this case, through God’s word, it’s so we don’t stray wayward of His perfect intentions in calling us to love one another.
Sometimes I try to over complicate this “loving others” command, but what Jesus spoke in John 15:12 gives us simple, straight-to-the point directions of how loving your neighbor looks:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” -John 15:12
…However we have to understand what that love actually looked like. And studying the One who (first) gave us this command seems to be most fitting…
Jesus cared as he healed a man with leprosy. (Matthew 8:1-4)
Jesus showed up when His disciples feared the raging waters surrounding their boat, he walked to them on water, and the wind died down along with their fear. (Matthew 14:22-33)
Jesus helped by feeding the five thousand when their hunger grew. (Luke 9:10-17)
Jesus served when He humbly washed His disciples’ feet. (John 13:1-20)
Jesus listened while John the Baptist’ messengers came to Him with John’s question of doubt and He eased any concern. (Luke 7:18-23)
Jesus cared for others. He showed up for others. He helped others. He served others. He listened to others.
All of these ACTIONS are forms of love.
It’s that simple! It’s that whole idea of treating others how you want to be treated! Obviously we aren’t going to have supernatural powers, performing heroic miracles such as Jesus did. We don’t even deserve that kind of glory, BUT the concepts of care, showing up, helping, serving, and listening to others are certainly tangible and doable ‘love-applications’ that we should be mimicking.
Lately God has laid these words, ‘love your neighbor as yourself’ on my heart, and it’s causing me to be more mindful of others…So the other day when my son’s friend (our neighbor) came over to play and his two little brothers tagged along behind, I sought opportunity…
Those little brothers are some of the cutest little guys I’ve ever met, needless to say they require some extra attention though, and often times when they’ve been over I’m too consumed with chores to entertain or visit…BUT this day, with God’s sweet prodding on my heart, I made sure to keep those little guys feeling extra welcomed—and when the one boy bumped his knee outback and I heard a wimper in his voice I quickly showed up. I helped with his owie. I invited them inside, and cared for his sad feelings.
I listened while they enthusiastically shared stories with my girls and me and left us laughing hysterically.
As the youngest boy spotted me removing cookies from the pantry he piped up before he even knew my plan, “hey tan I hab one of dos tookies?” I smiled at him and knelt down to his level, and served him a “tookie”.
And it felt good.
It felt good to show ‘love to my neighbor.’ Five different forms of love happened in a matter of moments through one encounter with our little-guy neighbors. Completely infectious…Think of the many opportunities we have day-to-day to make a positive difference in someone else’s life by choosing to follow God’s command to simply and humbly—’love your neighbor as yourself.’
Side-note: Your neighbor doesn’t have to be your physical kid-across-the-street neighbor either. For further study read: Luke 10:25-37
Final thoughts: If you made it this far in the post you’ll soon learn why I titled it ‘I’m being weird’…congratulations!
First off, we got the results back from, my daughter, McKenzie’s biopsies. She does have Celiac Disease but we’re honestly praising God, because we have answers and a solution: gluten free diet! She was pretty bummed when she first found out, but I told her since I mainly eat dairy and gluten free I’ll pull myself together and get strict, eating completely gluten free right along with her! Thank you all for your prayers and concern over all of that!❤️
Also I made it through the past few months as a fraud (sub) music teacher!! It was a fun experience, but I’m ready for a “rest” and thankful for summer break!!
To end my post today, I gotta tell ya, I need a little extra prayer!! …With all those substitute teaching days I’ve had over the past year I badgered away my earnings and last Fall booked Nathan and myself a trip to Germany to see our foreign exchange student we hosted two years ago. Now our trip is right around the corner and I’m freaking out. I’m having anxiety a bit about being away from the kids for a few weeks, even though they’re going to be in good hands! I’m just being plain weird!! So honestly I just need prayer that God would cover me in His peace, give us safe travels, keep our kids safe, and help me to enjoy this time!!—because deep down I know it’s going to be amazing, and such a wonderful blessing!! Thank you all for reading!
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” -1 John 3:16-18