Matthew 22:34-40 NRSV
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 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 greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
See also Leviticus 19:18; Mark 12:31; Luke 10:27; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:14, and James 2:8
Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself” not “as much as you love yourself.” We are to love our neighbor in the same way we love ourselves. “We love because God has first loved us” (1 John 4:19). When we accept the unconditional love and undeserved mercy that God offers us—knowing that we are not worthy of it—then we can allow God to love others through us in the same way. It’s God in you loving you, warts and all, and God in you loving others as they are. This is why the love you have available to give away is limitless. As Jesus told the Samaritan woman, “The water that I shall give you will turn into a spring inside of you, welling up into limitless life” (John 4:14). – Richard Rohr
A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.
– Richard Whately
We hermetically seal ourselves off from the undesired ‘other,’ the stranger, and in doing so, we seal ourselves off from God. By rejecting God in the neighbor, we reject the love that can heal us. -Ilia Delio
“Leave me alone”, is not a good news!
“Let’s be together” is not a bad news.
We were made to be each others keepers.
Let love lead
― Israelmore Ayivor
We become neighbors when we are willing to cross the road for one another. (…) There is a lot of road crossing to do. We are all very busy in our own circles. We have our own people to go to and our own affairs to take care of. But if we could cross the road once in a while and pay attention to what is happening on the other side, we might indeed become neighbors.
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith
There are really only two religions, two ways of living, and every moment everyone, religious of every flavor and atheist alike, is choosing which way we go. One is the Religion of Being Right. The other is the Religion of Being In Love.
– click here for the rest of this thought provoking log post by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled Choose Love
For practical ideas on building community in your neighborhood, check out this blog post by Ed Stetzer entitled 10 Ways to Love your Neighbor. In it he interviewed the good folks at Apartment Life, an organization who exists to foster environments where apartment residents can build quality relationships through a renewed focus on community.
Love your neighbor by Steve Garnaas Holmes
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Love your neighbor as deeply,
as instinctively, as surely
as you watch out for yourself.
Love your neighbor knowing
God sees you both alike,
with the same loving delight.
Love your neighbor to be true to yourself,
to discover yourself.
Love your neighbor as you love them,
with your gifts and presence,
not as someone else.
Honor your neighbor’s reality
as real and valid as yours.
Love your neighbor,
who is your self.
Let loving your neighbor
be your self, your life, who you are.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
For more information on the art, scripture translation and the use of this post in other settings, please refer to the copyright information page.