Love your neighbor as yourself.
Most of us know the greatest command is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and body. The second greatest commandment is to love others, like we love ourselves.
A tall order, but we get it.
One friend told me, “I think I love your daughter even more than I love you.” And I loved hearing that!
Of course we know we don’t quantify love, love just is. But don’t miss the implication. The best way for my friend to love me… is to love my child.
I think that is what God is saying. The best way to love him is to love his children.
We can love his children, our co-heirs with Christ, like we do him: with our hearts, souls, mind, and body.
Our attitudes, thoughts, and actions demonstrate love or…not.
If I really love others as I love myself, I will treat them as I want to be treated. (I always know how I like to be treated!)
It seems the best place to start (at least for me) is with my heart attitude toward another person. Admittedly my attitude isn’t always so…generous, especially if I have been wounded.
An acronym I developed over the years for my classes and speaking engagements is H.E.A.R.T. This is an easy way for me to remember how to adjust my “tude” so I actually can treat another in the way I would like to be treated.
H: Humility. We all fall short.
E: Encourage. Build up don’t tear down.
A: Affection. Show affection for others.
R: Respect. We won’t always agree, that’s okay. But we can be respectful.
T: Thankfulness. Demonstrate a grateful heart for those God has in your life. (They are there for a reason, as we are for them.)
Loving is tough sometimes. Especially when things don’t go the way we want or when someone doesn’t see things exactly the same way. Easy love isn’t great love. As Jesus says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those that love them” (Luke 6:32).
With faith, hope,and love,