Loving my neighbour

When one of the Scribes asked Jesus what was the greatest Commandment, he replied, “…you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength and you must love your neighbour as yourself” (Mark 12:29-31).

Let’s say then that as Christians we firmly believe that Jesus suffered and died that we might have eternal life. Let’s say, we feel we do the best we can to fulfill the loving of our God in the way Jesus wants of us. Then all we have to do is ‘Love our neighbour’.

Jesus even defined the word ‘neighbour’ for us in the parable of the Good Samaritan. So, it seems our ‘neighbour’ can be anyone with whom we come in contact. How we relate to this person determines how we fulfill the command to love them.

My understanding of loving one’s neighbour doesn’t mean we have to ‘like’ our neighbour, so perhaps we need to question how we go about ‘loving’ our neighbour! People are who they are, yet so often we find it easy to criticise a person behind their back because they are ‘different.’ Often, we tend to shy away from those with which we don’t wish to be involved, just like the priest and the Levite did in the Good Samaritan story.

Jesus never discriminated about who he helped, neither should we.  He saw a need.  He did what was needed.  As Christians I believe that is also how we must react.

It is easy for us to relate to our family and friends within a comfortable environment.  But what happens when we step outside our back fence? What happens when we are in the same situation as the Good Samaritan?  Do we walk away because we don’t want to get involved?  Are we frightened to be seen to be meddling in someone else’s business? 

We need to accept others for who they are. So, let’s try and look for the good in people rather than how they differ from our own expectations of them. There is no doubt that nearly everyone you see has some problem they are facing within their lives. A loving smile is sometimes all they might need to make their day.

Loving our neighbour can therefore be as simple as realising others needs before our own.

I’m Pete and that’s faith.

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