Loving our neighbor always sounds like such a good thing to do. But it isn’t always the simple thing. Challenges arise in all sorts of ways, from misunderstandings, disagreements or just plain bad behavior. That’s why we have to decide to love each other, because it takes more than wanting – it takes dedication.
For me, it’s also about giving up the expectation that loving others will always be easy. And thankfully, I’ve learned enough to know being a “loving neighbor” is truly worth the work. If we ask, God will give us an unending supply of grace for others, and for ourselves as well. With His help, those challenging moments will become chances to show how strong love is meant to be.
“In the Christian sense, love is not primarily and emotion, but an act of the will. When Jesus us tells us to love our neighbors, he is not telling us to love them in the sense of responding to them with a cozy emotional feeling. You can as well produce a cozy emotional feeling as you can a yawn or a sneeze. On the contrary, he is telling us to love our neighbors in the sense of being willing to work for their well-being even if it means sacrificing our own well-being to that end…”
“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”