Website owner:  James Miller

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Meaning of “love your neighbor”

What is meant by “love your neighbor”? What is encompassed in this teaching of Jesus? The word love used in this sense refers to an attitude of charity, benevolence, brotherly concern toward people. Loving our neighbor encompasses all of the following ideas. It implies:


1. We must treat other people honestly, fairly, justly. We must not cheat them, steal from them, plunder them, rip them off, trick them, deceive them, or use them. We must treat them right; treat them honestly and fairly, as we would wish to be treated.

2. We must treat other people kindly, with understanding and patience. We must treat them well, decently, with politeness and respect. We must not abuse them, verbally or otherwise. We should treat even our enemies properly and well. Treating others kindly precludes such conduct as rudeness, impertinence, boldness, etc.

3. We must do no harm to others. We must not act maliciously toward anyone, do anyone bad, say untrue things about anyone, slander anyone. We must be very careful in what we say of others, even our enemies, and be careful that we do not wrong them.

4. We should be willing to help others if they are seriously in need of help and we are able to help them.

Following Jesus’ commandment of loving your neighbor involves giving attention to our personal behavior in dealing with others and regulating that behavior. It involves self-control, self-discipline, and the establishing of good habits of behavior. It involves putting ourselves in another person’s place, understanding their feelings, refraining from stepping on their egos, etc. In dealing with others we keep in mind that we are not in a position to judge another, only God is, and we give people the benefit of a doubt. We assume the best in them until proven otherwise.

Who is that man that loves his neighbor? It is that honest, upright, god-fearing man. This man has within him an intuitive sense of how he should treat others, a voice within, an inner light. And he lives in accordance with that light. He is a man of principle. He tells the truth and does what is right habitually, even when no-one is watching and only he and God would know if he did wrong.

Sept 2013

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