Bible time

Since Valentine’s Day is about love, why not talk about it in a different format?
You have probably heard and seen the Bible verse: “Love your neighbor as yourself”. This basically means showing someone the same care, attention and even the devotion that God Himself has shown us throughout our entire existence. But this can be such a hard topic to understand, and to do it requires discipline, courage, strength and a whole lot of willpower. It can also mean that a lot of egos and pride will be forced to come down. Loving someone the way you love yourself can be a difficult concept to understand because we don’t always want to love other people. When you love yourself, you normally feel good about it. But what about when something bad happens to you? Don’t you get easily discouraged and think about giving up? Chances are, we all have. We’ve all asked the question “why should I love someone who has wrong me? We’ve all asked, “how can God expect me to love that person when all they do is hurt me, manipulate, deceive or criticize me?” The answer is because He loved us enough that He came down from Heaven to die for us. He loved all of us so much that He willingly gave up His life for us. If that doesn’t show you, true love, then nothing will. How can we not forgive someone as God forgives us?

To again answer the question of “how can I love someone when they’ve done something wrong to me? How can God expect me to love them?”, is kind of a simple one. Let me paint another picture for you. We’ve all done so many wrongs against God and against our fellow man that our first thought and question should be, “how can God even look at me as His child and offer me forgiveness after all I’ve done to Him?” Instead of always thinking and whining about what others do to us, we should stop dead in our tracks and think about the things we’ve done to displease God.
Not to scare you into reality here, but the truth is that, if you don’t forgive someone who wronged you, then God won’t forgive your sins either. Wouldn’t you rather forgive someone and try to reconcile with them and repair the relationship with them instead of being consumed by your own anger towards them, or have them be consumed with anger towards you? We’ve all been in a position where the last thing we want to do is even think about showing love to somebody else. The thought of it can even make our blood boil at times. God never said showing love to others was going to be easy all the time. Sure, those feelings all come with our everyday life. But they shouldn’t fester constantly in our minds or in our hearts toward someone else to the point where they could possibly destroy us. None of us want feelings of hatred to destroy us.
If you let anger consume you, it will ultimately destroy your mindset and make you think negatively. Anger can easily take away the joys of each day, nonetheless take away your peace. Letting your anger go and loving people the way God loves you is a much better use of your time and energy throughout your life. You will feel happier and have a healthier life and a healthier mindset too.
God loves you even though you’re a sinner. He died for you because your sin would have been too much for you to handle on your own. He lovingly took all of the sins of the world upon Himself. He calls you His child and wants to be a part of your life and in your heart every day if you’d let Him in. We’ve all sinned against God and we continue to do it daily. Day in and day out we sin, and most of the time we don’t even realize we do it because it becomes a habit for us. Every day we have to realize that no one is perfect, and that includes us. The only one who was and is truly perfect in every way is Jesus Himself. Jesus is the only person alive who has never sinned. If He can carry the weight of the world on His shoulders, all the way to Calvary to die for all of us, we can certainly try harder to love those who have wronged us. We can definitely try to love others even though we’ve also wronged them.  We can certainly try harder to love others as we love ourselves. The most important thing is asking for forgiveness and giving forgiveness. Otherwise, there won’t be enough peace in your heart.
There is no better answer than someone telling you that you are forgiven. God forgives us, so how can we ever do anything less? To love someone as you love yourself truly means to forgo your ego and your pride, lay it all down at the foot of the cross and love the person as God loves them. No one can love completely like God does, but He can help us see the right ways to love someone in His ways, not our own.

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