Loving God, Loving Others
God’s greatest commandment to all of us is to love Him with all our hearts, minds and souls, and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves.
This idea is also seen in the famous golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have done unto you”. We all have heard the golden rule and it is repeated by most religions throughout the world.
However, God’s commandment and the golden rule are rarely followed accurately due to one main problem: The commandment and golden rule calls us to love others as we love ourselves… the problem lies in that loving ourselves is a complicated and hard thing to do.
As humans we carry the weight of the past in mistakes, faults, regrets, aches and pain. We are burdened by thinking about all our failures and might even feel worthless, and helpless due to our past failures. This leads to being uncomfortable about who we are as individuals. It leads us to be disappointed in ourselves and unhappy with whom we are. We think regretful statements such as, “I should have”, “I could have” and “I would have”. This regret from the past therefore leaves us feeling frustrated and unloved by our own selves.
In addition, as humans we might carry the weight of tomorrow with its possible adversaries, its burdens and the anxiety of the unknown. We can get entangled in the thinking “what if’s” while trying to control things. The realization that we cannot control everything in our lives leads us to feeling frustrated, anxious and unfulfilled. This anxiety about the future therefore leaves us feeling inadequate and unloved by our own selves.
Feeling worthless and even hopeless about the past and future leads us to dislike ourselves. So how are we supposed to like others if we dislike ourselves? How are we supposed to love others as we love ourselves, if we do not love ourselves?
Self-help books and advice try to solve the problem of loving ourselves. We are told what to read and how to act in order to convince ourselves that we love whom we are.
Psychology and Psychiatry along with other sciences are great vehicles to learn about one’s self and to get help if needed. However, there is only so much that these resources can offer the soul. Just like anything else in life, if it substitutes our relationship with God as a priority, it leads to emptiness. It leads to loneliness and it leads to lack of self-love.
On the other hand, if we seek God with all our hearts, He will provide the filling for that emptiness with supernatural love and healing. He promises that if we seek Him with all our hearts, He will be found by us.
It is not a coincidence that God commands us to love Him with all our hearts, minds and souls before commanding us to love others as ourselves. It is through seeking Him and loving Him that He reveals Himself to us so that we can then love others.
The love of God is the only love that is supernaturally perfect, eternal, unconditional, consistent, ongoing and unending. It flows from grace alone not because we love God first, but because He first loves us. When we start to understand the immensity of that love, we begin to receive it.
Jesus loves us so much that He suffered and died on a cross so that we can live a resurrected abundant life.
Love cancels out any regret and remorse from the past. There is perfect forgiveness if we receive it. It also cancels out any anxiety and fear of the future. There is perfect peace in Christ. According to the scriptures, perfect love casts out fear. When we receive God’s unconditional and unending love, we are led to not only accept who we were made to be, but it also leads us to love ourselves, and therefore love others.
There is no better self-love than accepting God’s presence in our lives. Supernatural grace and peace renews us with the Creator’s own Spirit.
God’s commandment to love Him with all our hearts, minds and souls requires us to have an accurate picture of who He is. There is no better way to know God than to take the time and have an open heart to know Him.
Our Creator is not after our actions or our following rules… He is after our hearts first and foremost.
Love is the reason for our existence and it cannot be described in human terms. God must be experienced first hand by each of us as individuals. Then we are to experience Him together as families, then together as societies.
The only way to fulfill the golden rule is by loving ourselves first with an unconditional and unending love. However, as humans we are incapable of loving perfectly and unconditionally, and we must look to our Creator for His supernatural and perfect love. Then, we will do unto others as we would have done unto us. This is due to God’s love.
In order to obey God’s commandment to love Him with all our hearts, minds and souls and to love others as we love ourselves, we must experience God Himself first. Let us be of open hearts, minds and souls to God our Creator. God is what we were made for. After all, God is love.