“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.” Galatians 6:2; Ephesians 4:32.
God is commanding that our self- love, which has now discovered its fulfillment in God-love, be the measure and the content of our neighbor-love. Or, to put it another way, he is commanding that our inborn self-seeking, which has now been transposed into God-seeking, overflow and extend itself to our neighbor. Permit me to expanciate, though it will result to long write-up, please endeavour to study this well. So, for example:
- If you are longing to see more of God’s bounty and liberality through the supply of food and rent and clothing, then seek to show others the greatness of this divine bounty by the generosity you have found in him. Let the fulfillment of your own self-love in God-love overflow into neighbor love. Or better: seek that God, who is the fulfillment of your self-love overflow through your neighbor-love and become the fulfillment of your neighbor’s self-love.
- If you want to enjoy more of God’s compassion through the consolations he gives you in sorrow, then seek to show others more of God’s compassion through the consolations you extend to them in sorrow.
- If you long to savor more of God’s wisdom through the counsel he gives in stressful relationships, then seek to extend more of God’s wisdom to others in their stressful relationships.
- If you delight in seeing God’s goodness in relaxed times of leisure, then extend that goodness to others by helping them have relaxed, healthy times of leisure.
- If you want to see more of God’s saving grace powerfully manifested in your life, then stretch out that grace into the lives of others who need that saving grace.
- If you want to enjoy more of the riches of God’s personal friendship through thick and thin, then extend that friendship to the lonely through thick and thin.
In all these ways neighbor-love does not threaten self-love because self-love has become God-love, and God-love is not threatened, diminished, or exhausted by being poured into the lives of others. Therefore, feel free to love others as God loved you. Shalom!