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The Amish Voice 8

understanding, and with all the soul,

and with all the strength, and

to love

his neighbor as himself,

is more than

all whole burnt offerings and



Luke, the doctor, records the

lawyer’s story this way (Luke 10:25-

29): “

Behold, a certain lawyer stood

up, and tempted Him saying, Master,

What shall I do to inherit eternal


Instead of giving the lawyer an

answer, Jesus asks,

“What is written

in the law?”

To which the lawyer


Thou shalt love the Lord

thy God with all thy heart, and with

all thy soul, and with all thy strength,

and with all thy mind; and


neighbor as thyself.

Verse 29 says: …But the lawyer,

willing to justify himself, said unto


And who is my neighbor?

Next, let us move on to the epistles of Paul

and James, where they continue writing

about loving thy neighbor as thyself.

When Paul wrote to the church at

Rome, he said:

Thou shalt not

commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill,

Thou shalt not steal, Thou

shalt not bear false witness,

Thou shalt not covet; and if





commandment, it is briefly




saying, namely,

Thou shalt

love thy neighbor as thyself


— Romans 13:9

Again, Paul writes to the

church in Galatia:

For all

the law is fulfilled in one

word, even in this;


shalt love thy neighbor as


. —

Galatians 5:14

Lastly, James writes to the twelve

tribes of Israel:

If ye fulfil the royal

law according to the scripture,


shalt love thy neighbor as thyself

, ye

do well: —

James 2:8

Eight times, God said:

Thou shalt love thy

neighbor as thyself

! Each time, it was a

command; not a suggestion.

Most of us have been taught that we are

not to think of ourselves too highly, and I

believe that is scriptural. Matter of fact, I

don’t like being around people who think

of themselves as better than others. You

probably don’t either. However, when we

look at each one of these verses, we are

told to “

love thy neighbor...

as thyself



what happens if I don't love myself? Can I

still love my neighbor?

Let me ask you a question, friend. If your

love for self

could be measured, using a

scale of 1 to 10, what number would you

give yourself?

If you just gave yourself a 2, 5, or a 7, the

reality is, you will have a very difficult

time loving your neighbor beyond a 2, 5,

or a 7.

Furthermore, if you find yourself tearing

others down and putting a low value on

their lives, you might first look at yourself

and see that it starts with you. First, you

have to love and value your own life.

When you find that you can give yourself

a 9 or 10, you will immediately notice a

difference in how much your value and

love for others increases.

Just in case you think I’m somewhere out

in left field, let me explain what I


mean by loving self. I


mean that you

should become puffed up and proud of

yourself. God forbid! That’s worldly love

and, as you already know, God hates it.

The love I’m trying to describe begins

with God. Let’s look at 1 John 4:7-8:

Beloved, let us love one another: for

love is of

[or from]


; and every one

that loves is born of God, and knows

God. He that loves not knows not

God; for

God is love


Consider these facts:

Loving others is dependent on us

knowing God.

The level of love and value I place

on self and others goes back to how

well I’ve accepted God’s love.

If I have a hard time receiving

God’s love, I will have a hard time

loving who I am. If I have a hard

time loving who I am, I will have a

hard time loving my neighbor.

So, if I’m having a hard time loving my

neighbor, I have to go back to the very

beginning; that is, I must learn how to

receive the love that flows from the throne

of God.

You might ask, how do I do that? I

believe it goes back to God’s Word. If

you do not read God’s word, your faith in

God will become weak and begin to

struggle. When your faith in God

struggles, so will your life in the area of

loving self and others.

Our understanding of love begins with the

most frequently quoted verse in the Bible:

Loving thy neighbor, continued from Page 16

(Back Cover)

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