A friend of mine told me that this year she was going to focus on “loving others as we love ourselves.” At first, I was a little surprised, because she is one of the most loving of all Christian women. Then I began to understand what she was saying. As Christians we all think that we love others as we love ourselves. But, is that really true?
Christ said, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” – (Matthew 22: 37-40 NASB).
Why did Christ add that last sentence? Well, if you read the Ten Commandments (see Exodus 20) you will see that the first four are about our acknowledgement of and our love of God. The other six are about our relationships with each other. Our relationships with others are to be based on loving them as we love ourselves. This means if we love someone the same way we love ourselves that we would not do anything to hurt another person, as well as not hurt God. We would also do everything that we could to help and support another person, because that is how we would like to be treated in the love of ourselves.
Loving others as we love ourselves is not as easy as it sounds. We all come from different backgrounds and have different ways of doing things. We all have different expectations and some people may have more social etiquette than others. Furthermore, based upon our ideology, our faith or lack thereof, as well as our politics, we all have different ways of looking at life. Unfortunately, as very human Christian women, we sometimes focus on the outward appearance of another woman or focus on the way she behaves instead of looking at her as a God’s creation and then showing her the same kind of love that we would want for ourselves.
As Christian women, who have the Love of God within us, we are not supposed to focus on our differences. Instead we are to focus on helping each other reach our potential as women of God. This means that with “love” we offer to share the Good News of Christ with another woman. This means we offer to mentor any woman who needs the skills, information, knowledge or resources that we have to share. For if we love that woman as we love our self, we should want to share with her just as we would want someone to share with us. We are all deserving of the best. But if we fail to look at another woman as someone that we might be able to help, we are simply not showing or acting in love.
As Christians our work on ourselves is never finished. We are to constantly grow and seek spiritual maturity along the way. Part of our growth comes from developing Christ-like virtues. The greatest Christ-like virtue is Love. All the other virtues that we need to acquire and develop are bound together by the virtue of Love. The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore as God’s chosen people holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on Love which binds them all together in perfect unity.”— (Colossians 3: 12-14).
So, if we truly love others the way that God wants us to love them, we will step forward to actively mentor other women no matter what our differences. We will look for that spirit within them that God loves so much. We will share what we have to share through ARCM. We will reach out in love to not only love God, but love others as we love ourselves. Reach out to mentor another woman. You can do it!