“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And 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. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matthew 22:36-39
In perspective, a Christian who lives a purposeful life is motivated by “love” rather than being driven by a set of rules and regulations. Jesus Christ summarized that our Christian living is three-dimensional, all of which center on love.
Firstly, love God. Our relationship with God is bound by love rather than fear. We worship, serve and get involved in missions because of our love for God that springs from within. God does not intend that we do it because we fear Him and look upon worship or involvement in religious affairs such as offering simply as a duty or do it because we harbor certain ulterior motive. We do it because of love.
Secondly, love our neighbors and our fellow human beings. Human beings are from the same origin in Adam and Eve, the first couple created by God. Our society and the world at large will be peaceful and in harmony if we love each other. With love there will be forbearance, mercy, compassion and unity. People will be helpful, be forgiving and patient with each other. By loving one another, there will be joy and happiness in the family; with a strong institution in family, our community will be a safe place to live in.
Thirdly, love ourselves. Does it sound conflicting if we mention that Christians should learn to love their own selves? Should Christians not be denying themselves and also crucifying themselves like Christ? The word “self” takes a different meaning from the physical body and is not the way of life as controlled by the lowly self. The word “self” is noble, is about human value, self-respect and dignity. The word human connotes one who is kind hearted and virtuous. As a result, we should not hate, inflict injury or even belittling ourselves. Instead, we should have self-respect and be proud of ourselves. Through self-respect, we learn to respect others and see the value in human race.
Let love be the focus of our relationship with God, our neighbors, even with our own selves. Pray that God will bestow unto us patience as regards our love for one another. Indeed, in love, we make His world a better place.