A True Love Story
“Love thy neighbor as thyself” (Mark 12:31a, KJV)
Mark 12:31 is one of my favorite scriptures and I try live by it. One day, I encountered what I refer to as an awakening. I came to realize, after years of ministry and believing that I loved my neighbor as myself, that I had completely done a private interpretation on this word! That is when God blessed me with His revelation knowledge on Mark 12:31.
I have learned some very important points that I want to share as I magnify this Word! This is the second commandment in the Holy Bible, the first being “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul and mind” (Mark 12:30). I believe God gave these commandments to give us the order of love, commitment, and dedication in the earth. I also believe many of us are guilty of misinterpreting or having a private interpretation of this scripture.
Years ago, I was called into ministry to serve “my neighbor.” Truly I felt ready to serve. As stated earlier, Mark 12:31 became my theme scripture. However, as I moved further and further into service and ministry, I discovered that I really did not love myself as I did my neighbor. It was a hard reality to face. This fact hit me so hard that tears began to stream down my face. I remembered many instances in the past that proved that I loved my neighbor to the point of forgetting about me. Whether it was time, services or money, I was always willing to sacrifice.
I began to question if I was serving my neighbor out of love. Had I found myself working out of my passion and purpose and then stumbled and allowed pride in? Had I began to not only do my job(calling), but had tried to do the job that only God could do; which is to take care of everybody and their needs! What could ever cause me to be so caught up in the “calling” of my life that I would forget about me?
I thought it was okay to neglect myself if it helped someone else. I really thought it was service unto God if I gave away what I truly needed. I did it from my heart. I truly wanted my neighbor to have all God had purposed for them. I thought about how I would feel if I was in that particular situation. I would want someone to help me. So my neighbor is all I saw on many instances. I took that scripture and used it to do whatever was necessary for my neighbor, including neglecting myself.
One day, My Heavenly Father gave me this wide awakening through the Holy Spirit. He said, “You are my child. If you leave you out, you have dismissed me.” The Holy Spirit helped me realize that God does not “use” His children; His children are used of Him. He will not have me to neglect my needs to minister to the needs of another.
I have been on a powerful journey. I have learned to love myself as I love my neighbor. For me, this is a daily decision. I have done it wrong for so long…everywhere! I’m so excited about this lesson I learned on true love. God is so faithful. If you should get off on the wrong track while serving Him, He will come to see about you! If you have a misunderstanding about anything, He won’t let you go wrong long. I am a witness.
God has “called” me to serve my neighbor in a kingdom way. It’s so important to Him that we are clear about who we are as we serve others. We cannot forget about ourselves. Certainly the best love we will ever have is to be loved by Christ Jesus, and to be in love with Christ Jesus, and to love Christ Jesus. Next we must love ourselves. Then we are instructed to “love thy neighbor as thyself”!
Kingdom Wisdom Shared
Sisters, learn from my misinterpretation:
First: Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. This will help you to not place your neighbor in God’s spot! Love nobody and nothing with all your heart, body and mind except God.
Second: Love yourself. You are the first gift after Christ and the Holy Spirit that God gave to you. He requires you to love yourself.
Third: Love thy neighbor as thyself. Don’t be so caught up with yourself that you don’t see the needs of your neighbor or have enough compassion to demonstrate love to your neighbor. Don’t love your neighbor instead of yourself. Love your neighbor with the same love you have demonstrated for yourself.
I have learned my lesson and I’m back on the front line! Join me and let us share God’s love using kingdom order: God, self, neighbor.