Love God, Yourself and Neighbour

lovegodandneighbour

(But the arrows need to go both ways!)

Love is the most powerful force in the universe.  Love is the only way of fulfilling a relationship. Without love, relationships cannot exist and without  relationship, there is no need for love. For love to change the world, three relationships are necessary:

  • Loving God
  • Loving ourselves
  • Loving our neighbour

Jesus was asked the question: “What is the most important commandment?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31 NIV)

God’s plan is to change the world in which we live.  Not through exercising his power, not by commanding us to live better lives, not through fear of punishment but by using his love, enabling us to love him, to love ourselves and to love those around us. [Read more…]

Towards an alternative economy

compassion2We live in a capitalist economy, based on exchange of goods and services using the medium of money. When we buy or sell something, we make an agreed exchange of value. In theory nobody wins and nobody loses, but in practise the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Is there an alternative?

If we all valued other people as much as we value ourselves, a culture of giving could create a different sort of economy. An economy based on ‘loving our neighbour as ourselves’; where as we look after the interests of others, we can feel secure in the knowledge that others are looking after our interests. I know that this seems idealistic, but bear with me as we explore the matter further. [Read more…]

Loving ourselves before loving humanity

Love yourselfJesus affirmed the Old Testament law: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself(Italics mine). The implication here is clear: how we love and treat other people, is linked very closely to how we love and treat ourselves. I must admit that I have often emphasised the first part – loving our neighbour – and ignored the second part – loving ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves we do not have much basis for loving other people. We may feel uncomfortable about the idea of loving ourself. Connotations include selfishness, and “looking after number one”. But there is a place for loving, and caring for, ourself so that we are free to love other people. In this article I want to explore this in more detail.

[Read more…]

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