Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

  • James 2:8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.
  • John 15:12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
  • Ephesians 5:2 …and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
  • 1 John 3:16 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 and sisters.

Jesus set the perfect example of loving His neighbors. He had compassion, He met the needs of those around Him, He chose love even when they tried to trap Him or kill Him, He loved the sinner, etc. We need to be like Jesus extending love wherever we go. “His command is that you walk in love” (2 John 1:6). He would not ask you to do something you couldn’t do. God’s love has been poured out into your heart through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5); therefore, you have the ability to love your neighbors – all of them. When you let your light shine before others, they will see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

In the story of the Good Samaritan, Jesus describes who our neighbor is and the extent of the love we should show him (Luke 10:25-37). When you take a minute to see things through God’s eyes, you’ll extend grace and mercy a lot more as well as a helping hand.

The Word commands us to: encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11); bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another (Colossians 3:13); do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility value others above yourselves (Philippians 2:3); each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others (Philippians 2:4); do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up (Ephesians 4:29); be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other (Ephesians 4:32); serve one another humbly in love (Galatians 5:13); if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently (Galatians 6:1); carry each other’s burdens (Galatians 6:2); do everything in love (1 Corinthians 16:14); love does no harm to a neighbor (Romans 13:10); accept one another (Romans 15:7); share with the Lord’s people who are in need, practice hospitality (Romans 12:13); live in harmony with one another (Romans 12:16); do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position; do not be conceited (Romans 12:16); be devoted to one another in love and honor one another above yourselves (Romans 12:10); show proper respect to everyone (1 Peter 2:17); do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing (1 Peter 3:9).

How to love your neighbors as yourself:
  1. Exercise the power of love in your life. You have a spirit of love, of power and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). As most of us want grace when we miss it, we need to extend it to others. Don’t allow your flesh (will and emotions) to have a voice but give the Word first place in your life.
  2. Be led by the Spirit in all situations, including those that could cause division, arguments, etc. and He will bring you to victory God’s way. He’s the Spirit of truth and will reveal all truth to you, e.g. give you a strategy, give you a word of knowledge.
  3. Don’t set expectations for others and allow yourself to get disappointed.
  4. Spend time in the Word and meditate on scriptures that refer to love, kindness, compassion, etc. Ask God to help you reflect His love to others.
  5. Spend time in prayer, praise and worship to God daily. Let it transform you.

Call to action:
Identify one scripture that stretches you where loving your neighbors is concerned. Think of ways where you can put this command into practice and do it.