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Why Should You Love Your Neighbor As Yourself?

Updated on June 6, 2013
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Deonne Anderson is a retired Child and Family Therapist, Free Lance Writer, and Motivational Speaker who lives in Florence, SC.

The Good Samaritan -VanGough

Love Thy Neighbor
Love Thy Neighbor | Source

The Good Samaritan helps his neighbor

The good samaritan helps the man who was hurt and on the side of the road.
The good samaritan helps the man who was hurt and on the side of the road. | Source

Love Thy Neighbor

neighbors greeting each other
neighbors greeting each other | Source

The Oneness Of Us All

When I was around age (7) I asked my mother "Do I have to love old mean Miss Nelson just like I love you and myself? " This inquiry was prompted by my having received an assignment in my Sunday School Class to learn and recite the (10) commandments.. My mother was helping me by explaining what each commandment meant. I had problems with the commandment to "Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself." You see Miss Nelson was at least a hundred years old, or that's what I believed at the time, and was mean and looked like a witch. She hated children and scattered broken glass all over her driveway and yard to keep us from walking thru her yard on our way to and from school each day. I used to have nightmares about her taking me for a ride on her broomstick. "I could never love old Miss Nelson like I love myself or you," I said to my mother.

After reciting the commandments in front of my church congregation, My mother praised me for doing a good job and said,"When you are older and wiser, you will understand why God wants you to love Miss Nelson." She went on to explain that Miss Nelson was once a young and beautiful woman who had taught her in grade school. She explained that Miss Nelson's parents and two siblings had been killed in a car accident many years ago, leaving her all alone as she did not have a husband or children of her own. Though I felt sorry for Miss Nelson, I was still afraid of her and could not find it in my heart to love her. I know today that in all probability she was one with Alzheimers Disease.

My Eureka Moment

As an adult, I continued with my Bible study and and searched for answers to the many questions I had. I still struggled with God's mandate for me to love my neighbors, including Miss Nelson, as much as I love myself.

One day when I read the following scriptures, I finally understood why I should love my neighbor as I love myself. I had read or heard these scriptures spoken many,many times but theyspoke to my heart on this particular day.

St. John 10:20- 23. Jesus is praying to his Father on the night he was captured and taken before Pilot.

20) .....“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21) that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22) I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23) I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

"Eureka!" I shouted, "now I get it. It's like the concept of the trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the the Holy Spirit. Three separate entities, but yet ONE. God in Jesus, Jesus in God, God and Jesus in us.You in Me and I in You. We all are connected. We all are One....One....One. Therefore when I love you, I'm loving myself and vice versa.

The Story of Who is Thy Neighbor

St.Luke 10:25-37

25) On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26) “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” 27) He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, " LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOUR SELF."

28) “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” 29) But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30) In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31) A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32) So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

33) But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34) He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35) The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. "Look after him," he said, "and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have."

36) “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37) The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

In those days, the Samaritans and the Jews were enemies, yet out of the three men who passed by the man on the road, only the Samaritan stopped to help him. The Samaritan was a good neighbor who loved his neighbor as himself.

My journey towards learning to love my neighbor as myself began at the age of (7).

If you haven't started your journey, now is a good time. Take the time to search your heart. Do you love your neighbor as you love yourself? Are you able to sense that you are one with all mankind...that you are one with God the Father?

With this awareness and knowledge, you have the power to change how you view those around you view your world. You will come to realize that there is no black, white, red, yellow... no Latino, Greek, or Jew. We all are ONE. All of the millions and millions of people who inhabit the planet earth are your NEIGHBORS.

Havin My Say,


Love Thy Neighbors

neighbors greeting
neighbors greeting | Source

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      Jane 2 years ago

      Many thanks for being our coach on this suecbjt. My spouse and i enjoyed your own article quite definitely and most of all favored how you handled the areas I widely known as controversial. You're always very kind towards readers really like me and assist me in my living. Thank you.

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      Asmat 2 years ago

      Have you ever considered craeting an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog centered on the same ideas you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my viewers would value your work. If you're even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

    • FSlovenec profile image

      Frank Slovenec 4 years ago from San Francisco, CA

      Be one as we are one! This is great insight as we know what we ought to do but we frequently do not do it..thank you for the reminder!!

    • DREAM ON profile image

      DREAM ON 4 years ago

      Very enlightning.So true I also had a neighbor who was as crazy as the sun is bright.I thought for years how can I love thy neighbor so cruel and mean.Then I have seen children who heard others talk continue the hate of someone they have never knew.I knew this had to stop.My mother would say she has her problems leave her alone and try to be nice maybe she will change but in the end you did what was right.When you get older you will see we all have problems and she is really no different.I had to think about that for a long time.I am no different than our crazy neighbor.Learn to work out your problems so they don't become other peoples problems.I am still learning and practicing thanx for the insight and information.Have a great day.

    • ladydeonne profile image

      Deonne Anderson 4 years ago from Florence, SC

      Thanks for your comment. Now that people are becoming more and more aware of Quantum Physics and the Law Of Attraction, I believe more and more individuals will adhere to the concept of ONENESS. One with God, Buddha, the Higher Power, the Universe, etc. All are inclusive. The concept of oneness espouses that all things, regardless of their energy state, form, color, density, duration, etc., are ONE boundless being. In addition to practicing Christianity, I practiced Buddhism for (5) years and Hinduism for two years. So my philosophy is driven by all those influences.

    • SidKemp profile image

      Sid Kemp 4 years ago from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach)

      Thanks, LadyDeone. Here are two Buddhist perspectives on the same issue. The Dalai lama says that all people (and all animals with large nervous systems) are healed by love, and we should love so that they heal. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh from Vietnam says that, by loving, we become more loving and see that we are all connected (just as you say). So he encourages us to love not only people and animals, but also plants and rocks and all things. Is a rock better of because we loved it? God knows! But we're better off for loving - anything and everything.