Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Well, do you?

Leviticus 19:18: This is the verse that Jesus quotes when he says, “And the second is like unto it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Actually the whole verse says quite a bit more. “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”
My paraphrase goes like this, “Don’t seek revenge; don’t hold a grudge; but love your neighbor as yourself.” Holding a grudge and seeking revenge are things you do if you don’t love your neighbor. If you hold a grudge then you are not forgiving, and if you don’t forgive others, then God will not forgive you (because you won’t let Him). And it’s clear, even to me, that holding a grudge is the opposite of loving someone. It almost rises to the level of hating them. And seeking revenge is worse, if that were possible, because it is acting out the hatred you feel when you hold that grudge. Pretty easy to see if you think about it. So loving your neighbor as yourself is not some high sounding something they talk about in church. Holding a grudge and seeking revenge are things you cannot afford to do. They cut you off from God. If you don’t get anything else from this passage, please get this.
Oh, and did you see the last line? “I am the Lord.” This is not just some guy off the street; not some honyock that doesn’t know anything. This is the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH. This is the Person who is responsible for creating YOU. Hear ye Him! If I were a betting man, I’d bet Jesus was thinking about that when He reminded them this verse was the second commandment.
What do you think . . .What do you do?
1] Revenge; what is it? What does it do to you and others?
2] “Hold a grudge”; what is it? What does it do to you and others?
3] “Love your neighbor as yourself”: how much do you love yourself? How do you show love for yourself? Do you love your neighbor that much? Are you willing to demonstrate your love for your neighbor in the ways you do for yourself?
4] What happens when you don’t forgive; or when you don’t have mercy? How do those concepts relate to seeking revenge or holding a grudge?


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