The second greatest commandment of the Christian faith is “‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’” Matthew 22: 37-40 (MSG)
I have always found this as THE MOST CHALLENGING COMMANDMENT because at the heart of this commandment, I have to look in the mirror and ask, “How much do I love this imperfect, scared, flawed, hurtful person so I can truly love others?” Can I love this person who at times seems unlovable? Can I own this who seems unworthy or does my greed, selfishness, pride and fear own me?
Hard to believe that what I see in the mirror, God says is worthy! I am like the father who asked Jesus to heal his sick child. Jesus asked the father if he believed? The father replied, “I believe. Help my unbelief!” Mark 9:24 (MSG)
To add to this challenge, Jesus turned it up another notch. “Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.” John 15:13 (MSG)
I’m always looking for role models. I visited one this past weekend. My cousin, Jim, was in need of a kidney transplant. His oldest daughter, Carrie, didn’t hesitate to find out if she could give her father one of her healthy kidneys. They were a match! Here is a living example: Her body didn’t own her, but she owned her body. Not only was pride and selfishness ignored, but fear was looked in the eye and love won! Some call it grace, others call it an act of the Holy Spirit. No matter what you call it, it was the love Jesus spoke of in John 15:13.
There is some incredible support to enable this act of love. There is the love of Carrie’s mother for her father and for her. There is the love of family and friends for them. There is the love of the doctors and caregivers. Love connects! Love heals. Love wins! As I write this, both father and daughter are healing! Their healing heals my doubt!
Can you love yourself to to break the chains of selfishness, greed and fear to give your life to another? I believe. Help my unbelief.