…”You shall love thy neighbor as yourself…” – Jesus
Christians believe the man named Jesus was the Son of God. The Bible’s New Testament is a collection of stories and sayings attributed to his life and teachings. Since I was a very little boy, I’ve heard this Christian commandment over and over again (I was raised Roman Catholic). I still find the quote problematic and continue to play mental gymnastics to try to rationalize my way out of its meaning.
This one is tough because its all encompassing and it hits home: MYSELF? Really?
I can try to convince myself that whoever wrote it got Jesus’ words wrong or that he actually meant all my neighbors except “that one” or “those people.” Does the Bible have typos?
And he surely didn’t mean people like them or those other folks who do stuff like that. Nope.
In fact, the essential message of Christianity teaches unconditional acceptance and love. Nothing more… nothing less. “Love God. Love thy neighbor.” Everything else is a footnote.
The message is clear: compassion, mercy, tolerance, forgiveness.
I’m still working on this one.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 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. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” – Mark 22:36-40.