Love Thy Neighbor

By Linda Tancs

Love is the greatest commandment, love of God being first and foremost, followed by love of neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40). Indeed, to love others is to love God because God is love (1 John 4:16). In its grandest sense, love of neighbor means to love everyone. Admittedly, though, it’s challenging to conjure affection for everyone, everywhere. A good first step is to recognize the connection with all of them as brothers and sisters in Christ. You can foster a connection locally through participation in community outreach and internationally through world missions. Whatever you do, it puts “love thy neighbor” within reach.

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As part of FOOT FORWARD MINISTRIES (a teaching and speaking ministry), Go Forward in Faith represents faith-based meditations for personal and professional growth. Follow us on Twitter @moveonfaith.

The Challenge of Love

By Linda Tancs

Is there anyone in your family who is difficult to love, who pushes all the wrong buttons? Maybe it feels like you’re surrounded by fiery beasts or tongues like sharp swords, as David described in Psalm 57:4. Perhaps your nemesis is a child, parent, spouse, sibling or extended family member, or even many of the above. You might be tempted to think ‘well, I don’t have to love anyone who won’t love me back or treats me unfairly.’ Don’t give in and fail to accept the challenge of love. Love is, after all, the foundation of our existence and evidence of our oneness with God. There is no commandment greater than love, as Paul reminded the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 13:13) and John told his readers (1 John 4:16). Likewise, Jesus exhorted his followers that everything hinges on love of God and love of others (Matthew 22:35-40; Mark 12:28-31; Luke 10:25-28; John 13:34-35).

We should give thanks for the difficult people in our lives because they teach us how much work we may still need to do in the love walk. Those who are easiest to love actually teach us very little. So put on an “attitude of gratitude” the next time you feel tormented, and work on walking it out.