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 – (James 2:8)

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 love.

4. Do Not Be Self-Seeking – (I Corinthians 13:4-6) 

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 needs met?

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 6:2)

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 15:12-13)

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 others.

“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 “what is”!

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 3:28 NIV)

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

Love Does Not Delight in Evil But
Rejoices in the Truth


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 physical well-being.

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 your book?

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 Patient
Are you patient with others? When you are talking with someone do you often interrupt and get bored with what they are saying? How often do you get flustered and annoyed at people because they made a mistake, or they sinned? Patience is a virtue of love.

Love is Kind
Are we being kind to others? Do we accept others for who they are? How often do we become intolerant of another person’s views and faith just because it is different than our own? We first need to love the person God made us to be and then we need to be that person, so we can love others with kindness.

Love Does Not Envy
Do we envy what our neighbors have? When we look at what others have and then compare their material possessions to what we have, it makes us jealous and envious. But if we look into our hearts and realize we have the love of God and we learn to become rich in that love, we stop comparing our lives to others and we learn to have compassion for those who do not have the same kind of spiritual love that we have. Material possessions will never stack up to what is waiting for us in heaven!

Love is Not Rude
We are rude to others because we have not accepted ourselves. Are you rude to yourself? How often do you treat yourself with disrespect by doing things that sin against yourself? Having affairs, lustfulness, greed, envy, pride, anger, etc, is not giving yourself the respect you deserve! We must place God above everything else first, and base our life upon that Source, so we can stop disrespecting the person we are and learn to love the person we are. Then, and only then can we love another? Learning to love others is the meaning for life that we are after here.

Love is Not Self- Seeking
How often do we try and gain our happiness from others? Is that not being selfish? Why are we not happy just being who we are and what we are. Why must we try and change and or control others for happiness? True happiness is found from within the spirit of who we are. That means we must have a personal and growing relationship with our Creator first so we can love others in the proper ways!

Love is Not Easily Angered
How often do you become angered and annoyed, towards yourself? Every time you get angry, even at someone else, and you do not unleash that anger in the proper ways, it stays within your spiritual and mental self. What does that do to a person? It gives them a bitter filled heart and a spirit of unhappiness. How can we love ourselves and others with an angry heart?

Love Keeps No Records of Wrongs
Some of us hold records of wrongs against ourselves and not even know it. That’s why we have a poor self-image, or why we are shy and withdrawn, or why we have a hard time communicating or expressing ourselves properly. We have not accepted the person we are. How can we accept others when we keep holding in the wrongs of our past? We first must forgive ourselves of our own wrongs before we can actually forgive another.

Love Does Not Delight in Evil But Rejoices in the Truth
What is the truth? Truth is the foundation of who we are as people. It is the beginning of life and the end of death.  The truth will always set people free from themselves.  The truth gives us the freedom within ourselves to actually do the will of God, which ultimately frees us to love others unconditionally. Consequently, that is the meaning of life and how to love your neighbor as yourself.