God is all about relationships. And to prove it, every single thing Jesus ever taught, according to him, can be summed up in just two commandments:
#1) Love God
#2) Love others as you love yourself
As you love yourself…
Many of us have heard (or given ) what seems like a million messages on these commands so it’s pretty easy for our eyes to glaze over when we read this. But hang on. If one of Jesus’ Top Two Most Important Rules In All of Life, is to love your neighbor as yourself there’s got to be more layers to loving than we realize.
Here are four fresh ways we’ve been seeking to practice what he preached in our own lives:
1) We will think of others on the same level as we think of ourselves.
We want to be done considering anyone as more important or less important than us. It looks like Jesus saw everyone on equal ground. We will focus on all our common, human similarities.
We won’t shun, degrade or dismiss people for any reason.
We will no longer measure their intelligence, bank account, beauty, religion, ethnicity or morality. In fact, when we look at others they won’t even seem like “others” at all. They have become us.
2) We will think of others as often as we think of ourselves.
There is no one we think of more often than we do ourselves. It’s been said that as much as 95% of our thoughts in a day are self-referential. We constantly, unconsciously and habitually think about ourselves. Almost all our thoughts and reactions are deeply centered on what has or has not happened to us in the past and what might or might not happen to us in the future. We love our own ways of being and doing.
The most used word in every language is the word “I.”
Jesus seems to be saying, “take the same time, dedication and energy you focus on yourself and turn it to others.”
3) We will act as compassionately with others as we would ourselves.
If we get a cut we bandage ourselves or seek treatment. When we get hungry we feed ourselves. If we feel threatened we protect ourselves. When we get emotionally hurt, we find ways to be comforted. We will do whatever is necessary to mend, feed or defend ourselves. It’s instinctive.
Jesus invites us to learn to instinctively see when others have the same needs we do. We can use how we feel about our own wounds, hunger and fear as motivation to care about other people.
4) We will give away the very things we would like to receive for ourselves.
Do you long to be understood by someone? Discipline yourself to listen to them with compassionate understanding. Are you against violence? Then do no harm to people in the ways you promote non-violence.
Is there a special group or friendship that shuts you out? Include others in your world who have no capacity to return the attention. Have you needed help with something but when you reached out no one came? Don’t fail to show up for others in the same situation.
An Important Resource For You:
If you’d like some further help in either loving yourself or loving others, we happen to specialize in that! Each week we coach individuals, couples, & leaders both locally, as well as around the country. We can help you identify the primary blockages that are impacting the loving capacity that you’ve been given. We can help you obtain fresh breakthroughs in loving from a healthy soul. Click HERE to contact us for more information.
This blog was written by David & Caron Loveless