A question about love

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I can understand why the decalogue has ... thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself .....How come much ephasis is placed on this when Christ gave the ultimate commandment ... a new command I give unto you ...love one another as I have loved you.

There ARE many people who do not love themselves.

-- Anonymous, December 14, 2000


I see the SUmmary of the decalogue as just that. The first is an encapsulation of the first four commandments, and describe our relationship and behavior toward God. it is also the case that the "First and Greatest" commandment is derived from the Sh'ma in Deuteronomy, and is concsidered very sacred by our Jewish brethren. The next 6 reflect our relationship with our neighbor (at least in the sense of "do nots").

Another perspective: the summary of the decalogue's second commandment is an echo of Rabbi Hillel's teaching in the times just before Jesus.

We would be doing really great to love each other as Jesus loves us. Consider how he measured His love for us: "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." This ultimately reflects the sacrifice that is the pinnacle of love.

I believe Paul furthers our understanding of Godly love with his exposition of agape in Corinthians 13. I see that as unbounded and unconditional "concern." When one loves in this way, one places another's concerns above anything else. Agape is the kind of love each of us can have for one another, whether we are romancing a person (eros), buddies with a person (phileo), or don't even like a person. When we move beyond selfishness and self-centeredness to sharing, caring, and helping others, we are moving in the direction of agape.

-- Anonymous, December 15, 2000

Rev. Pillay, it is always good to hear from my brother in Christ. To answer your question, it is important to always remember Jesus was a jew, and new the prophets of the Hebrew Bible (old testament) and the teachings of the Hebrew Bible, he quoted often from the teachings of the prophets, in the Hebrew Bible there is great emphasis on community and taking care of those in the community, the poor, widows, children and to love them for they too are our neighbors. The greatest gift of love that God has given humanity is his only begoten son Jesus Christ. You are right there are many who do not love themselves. And therefore cannot love their neighbors, the gospel message of love, forgiveness and salvation is for everyone and especially those who do not love themselves. Getting the message of love to everyone is the role of the church. When we are in right relationship with God which is the definition of salvation then we are also in a love relationship with God and will be able to love our neighbors. I do believe that as pastors the message of love has to preached every Sunday for we are living under grace which is unconditional love. What are some of the christmas traditions in your country?

-- Anonymous, December 17, 2000

You know that is an interesting point. The reason why there are so many of us, (now I am talking about "church" folks) who dont love themselves is because they haven't discovered the reality of how much Jesus loves us. We fail to see the magnatude of love he has for us, also to go along with this discussion, if we dont have a sense or embrace how much God loves, we wont understand our place and function in the Body of Christ. We wonder why church people are so hateful towards one another the resaon is is simple once we come to grips with the overwhelming love of the Father through Jesus Christ, then we will be able to spread this same love among each, until this happens church folks will be church folks hating, gossiping and down being nasty towards one another. The Word says perfect love casts out ALL fear....also perfect love is the best weapon that can be used in spiriutal warfare, because we are not dealing with the person in the natural but in the spirit. Whe the true love which comes from the Father through Christ Jesus operates we will witness MUCH MUCH deliverance in our churches. Perfect love will have us operate in the gift of the Spirit properly. We will cease to be judgemental and critical of one another. We will start to apologize and go out of our way to love. You know the Apostle Paul clearly states the meaning of love in I Corninthians 13. He clearly states "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels.....if I have not love...it profit me nothing"

-- Anonymous, December 20, 2000

Thank you for your responses. The reason I asked the question is because in Bible study a few weeks ago a very relevant statement was made to the effect. Some people do not love themselves because of what they're involved with. A prostitues for example do not want to do the things she is doing !!! Because according to her mind there is no other way out, she does it. She resents herself and does not love herself simply because of this. The same may be said for drug addicts etc. So I figured that is the standard is that we must love others as Jesus did, the standard remains the same, no matter what the circumstances

-- Anonymous, December 27, 2000

Brother Pillay, When I read your post about the prostitute who engages in her prefession because she/he do not love themselves, I thought about Richard Pryor's response when asked why he used drugs: "Man I LOVE to take drugs." or words to that effect. Some engage in illegal, sinful activity because in their minds it is eaiser than working. True some may engage in selfdestrive behavior because of a lack of self-love, but most sin is a result of us choosing to do our will rather than God's will. We have a propensity to sin and lie if we say we don't enjoy it.

-- Anonymous, December 29, 2000

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