If you ask me, loving your neighbor as yourself is the most important foundation in any of our relationships. 🙂 After all, your neighbor is not just the person who lives in the house next to yours or adjacent to yours. They can be anyone you share a house with, a city, a country or even a world with.
Loving your neighbor as yourself was identified by Jesus as the 2nd greatest commandment, even similar to the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:39). This was in response to the question (actually a test) of a Pharisee, an expert of the law as to which was the greatest commandment in the law (verses 34-36). Now when you think of it, how do you love yourself? That can give you a clue as to how you can love your neighbor. Now if we zero in on loving our neighbor within our village, for instance. How do you love them as you love yourself?
My hubby and I moved to our village last January of this year. We are quite thankful that unlike our previous two addresses in the city, we can often see and interact with our neighbors here. And knowing that scripture, I can personally see and reflect on varied applications of that as we relate with them.
1. Loving our neighbor as ourselves is sharing their joy as well as our joy with them. And so when our neighbors invite us for birthday celebrations whether of themselves or their kids, we do our best to be there and enjoy the event with them. Joining these events mean meeting and interacting with new people and due to our personalities and age (!), it can take some effort. But hey, nobody said that loving does not make an effort 🙂
My husband and I also love to travel and when we have the chance to do so, we see to it that we bring some “pasalubong” especially for our neighbors’ kids. Again, this may take effort but this is one way that we also in turn share our joy with them.
2. Loving our neighbor is also sharing in their challenges. A couple of months back, one of our neighbors’ kids was hit by a tricycle. Seeing that there were only other kids with the child (a boy) when it happened, I immediately approached the driver and asked the other kids to call the boy’s parents. While at that time, I did not even know yet the parents of the kids, I do know that they would not want their kid harmed and would have wanted to talk to the driver after the incident.
3. Loving our neighbor is also being willing not just to help or serve them but also being willing to receive their help and service as well. Sometimes, well, I think many times, we would rather be the one giving help or sharing to others rather than being a recipient of their help, their generosity. But that’s not how relationships and true loving really works. It is reciprocal and mutual so that both sides are blessed and benefited by it.
Now, those are just my thoughts about loving one’s neighbors. How about from your end? 🙂