Seed for the Harvest
The second greatest commandment
In a day when there’s so much indifference toward the people around us, it’s good to remember and apply the second greatest commandment.
What is the second greatest commandment?
The first greatest commandment is to love God with all your heart, soul and mind. The second is like it, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mt.22:37-40).
Did you get that? You are to love your neighbor in the same way you love yourself.
In His parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk.10:25-37), Jesus made it plain that neighbors are those who God puts in our path. This would make those we live with our closest neighbors, with the next closest being those who live, work, and play nearby.
Overcoming our natural indifference toward our neighbors and extending ourselves toward them is essential for a healthy society. But what can we do to overcome our present disinterest and connect with our neighbors in a way that fulfills Christ’s command?
Here are a few ideas to put into practice.
First, be aware of your neighbors. Don’t be so caught up in your own private world that you miss what is going on in the lives around you. Pay attention to those who come and go in your midst.
Second, get to know your neighbors. Those on the periphery of your life are not just objects to deal with, but people like you, with their own hopes and cares. Get to know them.
Third, take the initiative in the lives of your neighbors. Don’t just wait for your neighbor to make a move in your direction. You make a move to get involved in their lives. As you do, take an interest in their circumstances and needs.
Fourth, give of yourself toward your neighbor. Real love is shown by laying down one’s life for another. Look for practical ways that you can sacrifice to show care and concern for your neighbor. Lend a hand or get together over food.
Fifth, get a dog. (I’m only half joking here.) Having a dog and walking it regularly in your neighborhood will give you lots of opportunities to follow through on the recommendations above. If you don’t have a dog, find other natural ways to get involved in your neighbor’s lives.
One of the biggest problems of our day is alienation and broken or nonexistent bonds between neighbors. By looking to the Lord in faith, getting past our own tendency to isolate ourselves, and loving our neighbors as ourselves, we take an important step toward restoring the bonds.
Questions or comments? Email davidjbostromATgmail.com or visit his blog at dbostrom.wordpress.com.Weather Data for Sunday, May 23rd, 2010
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