Happy Thursday!!! Welcome back to another edition of GSM’s “Refill with Randy” blog. My name is Dave Good and it is my honor to spend the next few minutes with you. This week, we are going to delve into part two of the greatest command. In case you missed last week’s post, I wrote about loving the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. (Feel free to pause and read it real quick) Jesus tells us the second greatest command is to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
Once again, that doesn’t seem hard at all. The first question we have to answer is Who is my neighbor? The Pharisees asked Jesus that exact question and Jesus replied with the parable of the Good Samaritan. I encourage you to read Matthew 10:30-37 if you are not familiar with the story. If you just want the cliff notes version (kinda showing my age here if you know what cliff notes are lol.) Jesus tells the story of a man who is robbed and left for dead. A priest and a Levite pass right by him but a Samaritan, whom the Jews hated, cared and saved the man’s life. This parable kicked the Pharisees right in the gut for thinking they were better than everyone and overlooking the needs of others. Jesus goes on to say that the Samaritan loved his neighbor most of all.
The key to obeying the second command is putting others ahead of yourself. You are never too good, too busy, or too proud to help someone in need. Just think of all the people you come in contact with on a daily basis. Whether it’s the cashier at the coffee shop, your family and friends, the hostess at your favorite restaurant, fellow employees, or other church members, everyone has a need and these needs come in many forms. Someone may just need to talk and get a few things off their chest. Others may need help paying a Bill or making ends meet. Some might need help around the house. Needs come in many shapes and sizes and the key is to recognize and just be willing to fill the need.
Now some of you are probably saying, “I have enough to worry about in my own life, I don’t have time for everyone else. My grass needs cut. My bills need paid. I have to work full time. My kids need new clothes for school. My car needs to be inspected this month. I just have so much going on right now. I’m really busy.” Notice all those statements above have one word in common—MY.
My my my, there is a lot of me in those statements. I can honestly say I can relate to all of them. In fact, over my lifetime I have probably used each and every one of those excuses. Loving your neighbor requires us to put others ahead of your own agenda or needs. It involves seeing a need and finding a way to meet it. This is easier said than done but when we look to the example of Jesus it is easy to adjust our focus towards others.
The key to obeying the command to love your neighbor as yourself is to take the me out of the equation. Jesus gives us the perfect example and displays the perfect servitude mindset when he said the following “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)
Friends, loving your neighbor involves putting others first. It involves finding a need and trying to fill it even when it’s not easy or convenient. Loving others takes sacrifice and intentionality. When we look at the sacrifices Jesus made in order to meet our needs our we see the bar set pretty high.
My ask for this week is simple. Find one way to love you neighbor as yourself. Find someone with a need and fill it. The need doesn’t have to be big and how you fill it doesn’t have to be time consuming but the important thing is that your act of kindness is intentional.
Until next time…