Friday, March 9, 2012


O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
Robert Burns

How do you see yourself?  How do you feel about yourself?  The Bible tells us:

Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18 KJV)

That bolded phrase is used again in the New Testament:  Matthew 19:19, 22:39, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:27, Romans 13:9, Galatians 5:14, and a fitting finale:

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: (James 2:8 KJV)

James makes it a conditional if/then statement – if you fulfill the scripture, you will love your neighbor – and you will do well.

I have failed, many times. Or, maybe I haven’t, if I’ve loved my neighbor as I have loved myself.  There have been times I haven’t liked me at all. I have done things I didn’t want to, and disliked not having the strength to say “No!”  I’ve also not done things I wanted to, and regretted not saying “Let me!” I’ve broken God’s commandments, and found excuses for doing so, saying “It’s not really my fault.”

“The devil made me do it,” is a comic routine that made Flip Wilson a lot of money, but it’s not to be used as an excuse. Neither is “God made me this way.”

What I need to understand is that God loves me.  Just as I am (and that is an awesome hymn!!) but he doesn’t want me to stay the way I was when I found out how much He loved me. This is an absolute truth for everyone. Peter tells us:

But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18 KJV)

Both Paul and John address a similar subject:

(For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. (Romans 2:13 KJV)

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22 KJV)

Saying I love my neighbor just doesn’t get the job done.  I must act upon that knowledge.  I must do something that God wants me to do. And, I must be aware of who is my neighbor.

Jesus gave a parable that should explain that sufficiently to a certain lawyer set out to catch Him in a falsehood when he asked, then followed up with another question:

But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? (Luke 10:29 KJV)

Read the verses following that for Jesus response. No, don’t just think you know the story – go ahead and look up the verses.  If your Bible isn’t handy, just click here.

Our neighbor is the person who needs our help, the person God has sent us to help. The person who, without our help, may perish.

1 comment:

  1. Sure...we tend to only give what we have based on how we see and value ourselves. If i don't like myself, i will have a huge problem loving others as well. If I am full of bitterness, that's all the people around me can draw out of me. As the saying goes, hurting people hurt others. God help us to love ourselves so that we can love others.


Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)