14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galations 5:14 (NIV)
How do you know you are in a religious church? The most obvious sign is, the preacher constantly remind the church members to obey God’s law, especially the 10 Commandments. There are still people who think the Christian life is centered on the 10 Commandments. This is obviously a heresy. If the 10 Commandments can save us, Christ died for nothing.
If you bother to refer to my previous postings, you can read a lot of my articles showing that the Law of Moses is no longer valid for Christians today. We do not have to try not to murder anyone if we do not have this intention in the first place.
The above verse tells us that as long as we love our neighbor as ourselves, we don’t have to bother about the Law. It is fulfilled in our lifestyle. We do not fulfill the entire law by keeping the entire law. We fulfill the entire law by keeping just one command, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Is this good or bad? The answer depends on what does the phrase “love your neighbor as yourself” mean.
What do you think of when you see the phrase? Are you looking for a list of things to do in order to qualify for it? Who are you going to ask for the list? Are you going to ask a church? Unfortunately, the Christian churches are so fragmented today that 100 churches will have 100 different lists on how to love our neighbors as ourselves.
In this article, I will give you a clear answer on what to do and it does not involve any to do list from somebody else. In fact, you are the one with the right to decide on the right actions to qualify. Let us begin.
The phrase, “love your neighbor as yourself” only has 2 principles:
1. You must love yourself.
2. Use this love as a measure to love others.
This first principle tells us that we must have a healthy respect for ourselves. God loves you so much that he gave his only begotten Son to redeem you. What right do you have to despise yourself or treat yourself with contempt? Always remember that if you hate yourself, you are insulting God. If you have been doing that, you should repent. Repentance means stop doing the bad things and move on to the good things. Stop hating and start loving yourself.
If you have been living a good and honorable life, that should not be too difficult. However, there are any people with a bad past. If you happen to be one of them, are you still able to love yourself regardless of the bad things you have done? Some people will find this an impossible task.
Let me make it simple for you. When Jesus died at the Cross, he took all our sins with him: past, present and future. As for the bad things you have done in the past, you have to tell yourself that you didn’t do them. Jesus did all those things and he was punished for it. God will never re-punish you for the sins that he had punished Jesus at the Cross. In the eyes of God, you are whiter than snow. You can face God as though you have never committed a single sin in your life.
Once, you are convinced of the above truth, you will have the freedom to love yourself. When that happens, you will find God’s blessings flowing freely into your life with increasing quality and quantity.
As a result, you will able to fulfill the second principle. Your love for yourself will be the foundation for loving others. Your love will be genuine. You will love others like Jesus loves you. This is what Jesus meant by doing to others what you want others to do to you.
How should you treat others? It depends on how do you want to be treated.
Do you want others to help you when you are down? Start helping others when they are down.
Do you want to receive a lot of money? Start giving others money.
Do you want to live in your dream house? Start helping others to get their dream houses.
In short, whatever you want in your life, help others to get them. This is what Jesus mean by loving your neighbor as yourself. You write your own list. This is Christian living.