Love your neighbor as yourself


Jesus gave us this command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Living by that one command pretty much takes care of everything else. If loving your neighbor as yourself becomes a lifestyle, you will know instinctively what to do in most situations.

This command always brings us back to one clarifying question: What does love require of me? What does putting others first require of me? What does selflessness require of me?

A Jesus follower is to live a selfless life, put others first and be led by God’s spirit. This is what a Jesus follower should do. We are not to be mastered by anything or anyone. Paul shows us what living a selfish sinful life looks like in Galatians 5:19-21.

“The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

I want to live my life in tune with the spirit of God. I want to say yes when God nudges me in a new/different direction in life. That means choosing what’s satisfying over what’s appealing, which is far more satisfying in the end.

Sincere Jesus followers choose to be led by God’s spirit. Paul goes on to tell us where that life leads: “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23b)

This is the outcome of saying yes to God. This is where saying yes to those internal nudges of his spirit will lead you. And isn’t this exactly what we want in life? Nobody wants to limit the fruit of the spirit. Do you know anybody that has too much love, too much joy, too much peace, too much patience?

Our lives change the moment we choose a new path (which is about repentance). It happens when you begin living in a new direction — God’s direction. So we all have a choice to make.

I hope you will pay attention if you sense that God is speaking to you. I hope you will choose to follow Jesus. I am convinced that by choosing to follow him, you will have chosen a path that will take you exactly where you want to go in this life and in the life to come.

Steve Greene is the lead pastor of The Point in Seymour. Read his blog at or email him at [email protected]. Send comments to [email protected].

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