Galatians 5:14 NIV
14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
This can be easier said than done. Paul shares what Jesus said when He was asked what is the greatest commandment. Jesus began with saying to love the Lord thy God with all they heart, soul, mind, and strength. This means our entire being. Every part of our lives is to be surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Jesus then said the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. It is impossible for us to truly love our neighbor as ourselves if we do not truly love God with everything and live a life fully surrendered to Him.
Our neighbor is anyone who is outside our immediate family. On this earth there are people who easier to love than others. But the question is “what do we do when we come across someone who is difficult to love or nearly impossible to love”. People who have wounded us or offended us. Our ability to love as Jesus calls us to is a decision of will. It is not based on feelings or emotions. When we choose not to love someone, we are walking in disobedience. This will impact our relationship with the Lord because it will cause our intimate fellowship with the Lord to be broken. The heart of The Father will be broken, and The Holy Spirit will be grieved.
The only way we can truly love our neighbor as ourselves is through the power and leading of The Holy Spirit. We must choose to forgive, and we must choose to let go of bitterness. Many times, people hold on to bitterness because they are deceived by the enemy into thinking that somehow it is going to be detrimental to the other person and helpful for them. But the only one bitterness and unforgiveness hurts and destroys is the person who is harboring it.
But loving one’s neighbor as oneself is to fulfill the entire law because the law of God comes down to two very simple things. It is all about loving God and loving others. God is the most relational being. He is not only concerned with our relationship with Him, but He is concerned with our relationships with others. We must remember that regardless of skin color, socioeconomic status, gender, and background every single person on this earth is created by God, created in His image, and are all descended from Adam and Eve. To hate a person is to hate those that the God we claim to love has created.
May we strive to love. May we strive to walk in unity. May we be willing to forgive and let go. Let us not be deceived into holding onto bitterness and unforgiveness. This is a true freedom in simply letting go and giving all things to God. Some may wonder “how can I truly forgive and love those who have injured and hurt me”? The answer is exactly what Jesus did. It is praying for them. For Jesus preyed upon the cross “Father forgive them for they know not what they do”. When we choose to pray for our enemies, supernaturally the Lord enables us not only to forgive but to love them as Jesus would. We must remember that The Holy Spirit lives within us and our desire should be to decrease that He would increase daily.
Father help me to love as you love. Help me to forgive those who have wronged me and those who have hurt me. Help me to truly love my neighbor as myself and to truly walk in obedience to your word and your ways. May my life be a living sacrifice. Father thank you for saving me by your grace and may in all that I do the name of Jesus be glorified and magnified. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!