Love Your Neighbour As Thyself

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Today we are going to take a look at loving ones neighbour as thyself. Love is a simple language, which even the deaf and dumb can hear. It is a soft touch full of action to enable many people speak and understand it. LOVE, as its acronym stands L=Look O= Observe, V=Venture and E = Engage. True love is hard to find because many people think of themselves first before others would come. But others first and selves last should not be forgotten. Let us see the problems included in loving others and ourselves and to change so as to make the world a better place for all to live in.

Jesus, in no small term stressed that man should love others as they love themselves, that is unconditional love. “This is my commandment that I give you, love one another as I have loved you and let your love be like my love for you,” a certain song says.  Jesus was too keen on the word love, because it was difficult to see people loving themselves in totality. And today men fight against men, children against elders, mother against father, friends against friends. We have seen how many unlawful killing is going on in the country and outside it. If there is love for others and the fear of God prevailing then the world would have been a paradise for all to live in. We see the many hatred in families, where husbands get at the throats of their wives and wives too doing the same to bring disunity in their family.

Many would ask why so many discords among people and families? Man has a heart, that heart and the brain work in unison. Many do not listen to their inner selves. Many are against the truth and many love saying the truth in the face. Reactions will come and misunderstanding will ensue. If only many would allow room for criticism and reconcile then there would be true peace. We hear people say, “What this man has done to me I will never forgive or I must show that I am a woman, she would never do it again.”

Jesus has warned that our love should be unconditional. “I will love him if”… If what? “I would have given it to her but…” But what? There are many unanswered questions in love and all these should be seen in the positive then man will live in love and peace will prevail.

Here is a true story from the war in Sierra Leone when rebels of the UF and NPFL attacked Sierra Leone to over take the diamond area in the East. There was a battalion stationed quite close to the battle field where many had died. There were two friends who were very close and were in the same battalion. The soldiers were sent in groups of eight to fight their enemies. But most of them died and others were utterly wounded dying there.

Sergeant Albert Nyaka’s friend, Duran Lamina had gone to fight but the Commander was told in their wireless communication that he had died with some others. But in the real sense he was badly wounded he could probably not survive it. His friend, Albert Nyaka fought hard to see his dying friend. But their commander said to him, “My friend, you know that the area is very dangerous. Going for your friend would mean you dying too. Since he is already dying leave him to die and let God take the greater part. I know you love your friend but we also want able body men like you for enforcement later. But Henry Nyaka insisted that he must go to see or bring his dying friend. The commander then allowed Henry to go for Duran. Upon his arrival, he met his utterly wounded friend in tears. He crawled and reached him. When Duran saw his friend he opened his eyes and smiled and said “I know you would come, Henry.” He leaned back and died. His friend fought hard and took him away to their base. He was welcomed back by his comrades and promoted.

This is a love of sacrifice. He sacrificed and made it to his friend without condition. This is the type of love that Christ prefers for us His children.

Loving is giving and we can’t give what we don’t have.

Saint Francis once said: Lord make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me bring your love, where there is injury your pardon, Lord, and where there is doubt, true faith in you. O master, grant that I may never seek so much to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand to be loved, as to love with all my soul.

All he was saying talks about the fundamentals of love, the love we care for. We therefore need to forgive one another, and see others as ourselves without condition.