LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS YOURSELF
Every person is of equal value to God and should be to us
God has made from one man all nations of the earth. Acts 17 v 26
You must not mistreat or oppress foreigners in any way. Exodus 23 v 21
The second of the great commandments given by Jesus is “Love your neighbour AS YOURSELF.” Tragically large numbers of people in our society have very little or no self respect and self love. I worked for 4 years in Supportive Accommodation with up to 90 men suffering the whole range of alcohol and other drug addictions, homelessness, mental health, violence, and criminal justice issues. I learned much about the reality of life at the bottom, its causes, and potential cures. In at least 90% of cases the problems led back to a single primary cause – dysfunctional or non existent parenting. No one had cuddled them and read them stories, encouraged them in their schoolwork and role modelled to them a functioning family, or taught them the basics of good social relationships, honesty, nutrition, thrift, and diligence. Instead violence, abuse, and drunkeness were their earliest memories. Many suffered from foetal alcohol syndrome through no fault of their own Most did not have a chance of a successful life.
A successful life includes taking responsibility for ourselves and others, respecting ourselves and others, and these values are learned in childhood. We also need to learn that life is not always fair.
Many people spend their time pursuing fun, food, fame, fashion, and fortune. There is nothing wrong with any of these in moderation and in context but they are external stimuli that never truly satisfy.
The values that God gives are much deeper and totally satisfying
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, humility, self control. Galations 5 v 22-23
Combined with the great virtues of prudence, justice, temperence, courage, fortitude, thrift, fidelity, diligence, faith, hope, and love, we have ultimate satisfaction for ourselves and success for society.
The biblical definition of love
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, or boastful, or proud, or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13 v 4 - 7
All good comes from God, all evil comes from Satan, and we are given the ability and responsibility to choose the good.
It is our spiritual dimension that determines how we act in any circumstance.