Seven Principles For Loving Our Neighbor
I know what you’re thinking, You’re thinking, I
don’t need someone to tell me how to love – I already know how to
love. Yes, you’re probably right. But most of us only know how to
love superficially – it’s not real. Did you know that Jesus commands
us to love others and He teaches us how to love appropriately? Real love is based upon principles. When we are serving others
we need to ask ourselves, is this what Christ would do? Let’s take a
look at some important principles about loving.
1. Love Your Neighbor As You Love Yourself –
Christians are called to serve one another in
whatever ways God has blessed them with. I’m not sure if taking our
brothers and sister to court is serving them very well. One great
principle that Christ teaches us is to get rid of the sinful nature we
have towards our neighbors, such as spite, envy, jealousy, and
covetousness. That’s not loving our neighbor when we harbor these
negative emotions, is it? The best way to love our neighbor is to let
them see Christ working in us.
2. Be Compassionate and Humble - (1 Peter 3:8-9)
Christ taught us how to be compassionate and walk
in humbleness. Isn’t that what He did? What better example do we have
than Christ himself? Self righteous and proud behavior does not help
anyone see Jesus Christ in us, but only reflects our own sinful nature.
Pride and selfishness can take a precedent in our heart sometimes, so we
must allow God to take these negative thoughts away from our mind and
refresh us with loving, humble thoughts.
3. Be Forgiving – (Luke 6:30-31)
Would you want to be forgiven? The greatest
attitude to have about loving others is the golden rule principle. “Do
unto others, as you would have them do unto you”. Ask God to help you
forgive in its completeness. God wants us to forgive so we will be free to
4. Do Not Be Self-Seeking – (I Corinthians
We can’t love anyone if we’re only looking out
for ourselves. Christ teaches us that loving others is exactly the
opposite – we are to look out for others. I think this principle
works, because if we are new in Christ than we are capable of loving
properly and that means that Christ takes care of our needs – we
don’t need to look out for ourselves – He is already doing it! We
all have needs. How can you serve somebody and help them to get their
5. Do Not Seek Revenge – (Leviticus 19:18)
Jesus has taught us to turn the other cheek and
walk away. But how often have we done the exact opposite? Is there
someone you can’t seem to forgive and now are giving the silent
treatment to? Have you ever taken someone to court just because of your
unforgiving heart? Why are Christians seeking revenge? It is wrong. Seek
Christ’s forgiveness for yourself so you can forgive your brothers and
sisters in the Lord.
6. Carry Each Other’s Burdens – (Galatians
Sometimes we think we’re the only person or
family with problems in this life. But everyone, at sometime in their
life, has distresses and discomforts that challenge their faith in
Christ or belief system. We all have been given gifts, talents and
abilities to use for encouraging, helping, and teaching others. What is
your gift? Are you using it to help others find Christ, or helping other
Christians who are having difficulties in this life? Christ wants us to
use our gifts to help others carry their heavy burden. We will be
rewarded for our efforts.
7. Love Others As Christ Has Loved You – (John
How can we truly love others in the same way that
Jesus Christ has loved us? It just doesn’t seem possible. Would that
mean we have to suffer and die for our friends, family, and fellow
brothers and sisters? Yes! It means we must throw off the old person and
allow that person to die and then be reborn a new spiritual person in
the Lord. This is the only way we can actually give up our selfish
lifestyle and love others appropriately in the Lord.
This is how we learn to love unconditionally. We first must
repent and be forgiven for our sins before we can truly forgive and love
“For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness knowledge, and to knowledge self control; and to self control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you posses these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ”.
(II Peter 1: 5-8)
Copyright Heaven Ministries 2010
Taking Up Our Cross To Walk With Jesus...
What does being a follower of Jesus Christ mean? I
believe it means a lot more than what many of us are doing. Am I
judging? No. I am rebuking – there is a difference.
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of
season; correct, REBUKE and encourage – with great patience and
careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2 NIV)
As followers of Jesus, we are to take up our cross
each and every day, sometimes ten times a day! Being a true follower of
Christ is a total transformation of our life from “what was” to
The most popular sins are the most prevalent of
them all. Each time we think bad thoughts, or say bad thoughts to
someone we are sinning. Each time we gossip about people or disrespect
others, or become intolerant just because someone is different, we are
NOT doing the will of God, and I think that is a sin. It is a sin to
carry around a bad attitude about your brothers and sisters in the Lord.
A new command I give you: Love one another as I
have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know
that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35 NIV)
Being a disciple of Christ is a whole different way
of life than what you see going on in the world of Christianity today.
We are to love our neighbor. This certainly does not mean we are to love
their sin! We do not have to give our “seal of approval” to love our
fellow man, but we are taught all throughout the bible to be kind and
considerate to others. That would mean no scoffing, judging, accusing,
or behaving in a self-righteous manner.
Instead be an example of Christ through your good life. You live
a godly life, don’t you? Be the light on the mountaintop - the salt of
the earth - the red rose in full bloom. Be kind!
Are you a disciple of Jesus?
Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me
is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me
is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow
me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever
loses his life for my sake will fine it. (Matthew 10:37-39 NIV)
Being committed to Christ may separate you from
your loved ones. In saying this Jesus did not mean disobedience to
parents or loved ones. It means that only some in your household may be
committed to him and you will have to make a decision them or Him.
When a Christ One takes up his or her cross to
follow Jesus, different values, principles, and purpose will set them
apart from others. We are to love others but not their sin(s). If a
Christ One is truly committed to following Christ then that should be a
Christian’s FIRST PRIORITY. In
other words “to take up our cross” means we will most certainly meet
with opposition from those who are only halfheartedly following Christ.
As a disciple of Christ, it is never without some
conflict, especially with other Christian’s. For instance, some
believers don’t understand why your beliefs may take you on a
different path then the one they are on.
Your convictions may even offend them because they do not hold
those same convictions in their own life.
Each time a Christian shuns another Christian for
their faith it is a form of persecution. Worse than that, it is
trespassing on their Spirit. So what can a Christian do? We should never
feel that we need to defend our faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ does
not need defending. But…we
do not want to offend anyone else either, and so we should accept,
tolerate and love all people in Christ, no matter what the level of
faith they are at. (Galatians
We are to live in peace with all men.
This is why we are to forgive those people who trespass against
us. If we didn’t forgive we would not be behaving very peaceful with
our neighbor and other believers.
Accept one another, then, just as Christ has accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.(Romans 15: 7 NIV)
Copyright Heaven Ministries 2008
Does Not Delight in Evil But
Life is what we make it to be. Each person creates
their own chapters of life by what they believe and by what they do with
those beliefs while they wait for the next transition of life, which is
the eternal. We bring purpose and meaning into our life when we value
ourselves enough to take responsibility for our spiritual, mental, and
I believe we have to value the person we are before
we can let go of our defenses and truly love another. It is absolutely
imperative we learn to love ourselves so we can become unselfish and
that takes place when we understand the spiritual self within us, or
rather, recognize the spiritual aspects of who we are. In my opinion,
without God there is not meaning or purpose to life.
God always takes a precedent in my life and that
helps me to be the person God meant for me to be. The minute I let go of
God and rely on my own understanding I begin to be unlovable and
selfish. God is my lifeline to life.
It is through those I love and care for that my life is made
meaningful. My husband and children bring purpose to my life. My
friends, family and acquaintances all bring significance to my life.
They are part of the chapters in my life that brings me joy, contentment
and blessings. They are a part of my book. We all have a book. What is
If the meaning of life is to love then lets try and understand what love is.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no records of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. (1 Corinthians 13:4-6 NIV)
When we write the chapters of our book according to what love is we bring meaning into our life.
Love is Kind
Love is Not
Love is Not
Love is Not
No Records of Wrongs
Not Delight in Evil But Rejoices in the Truth