Loving Others as Self

When asked what the greatest commandment was, “Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself” ” (Matthew 22:27-29). Author and professor Scot McKnight refers to this as the Jesus Creed. It is what the church (by which I mean all believers) is called to do.

In Star Trek II, The Wrath of Khan, Spock sacrifices himself so that rest of the crew may live. Kirk tries to save him, but Spock reminds him that “logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few”, “or the one,” adds Kirk understanding that Spock must do what he intends to do.

I John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.” That’s our example for loving others.

In Star Trek III, The Search for Spock, Kirk reminds us, though, that sometimes “The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many.” For some of us, including many pastors, we easily get bogged down in “loving others,” and we forget to love ourselves. In fact, we can’t fully love others if we don’t love ourselves. We need to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves and our own needs in the midst of loving others.

Jesus frequently went off into the wilderness after ministering large crowds in order to “recharge.” He needed time alone, time with God, time to pray, time to do what He enjoyed. Afterward, Jesus was ready to get back to ministry. But He always knew there had to be balance.

And of course, we can’t love others or ourselves if we’re not first loving God. All love flows in and out of that first love.


~ by Dave on November 22, 2009.

2 Responses to “Loving Others as Self”

  1. Indeed. Laying down a life for others doesn’t make us Christ, or Christian, but it is a Christ-like act.

  2. Martin, indeed. Many non-Christians have laid down their lives for others. And no act will make us Christ ourselves. But when we are willing to sacrifice ourselves (even our time, money, or resources) for the love of another, it does draw us more into being an imitator of Christ.

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