131) How to Love Your Neighbor

     The rule for all of us is perfectly simple.  Do not waste time wondering whether you are able to ‘love’ your neighbor; act as if you did.  As soon as we do this we find one of the great secrets.  When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.  If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more.  If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less.  There is, indeed, one exception.  If you do him a good turn, not to please God and obey the law of charity, but to show him what a fine forgiving chap you are, and to put him in your debt, and then sit down to wait for his ‘gratitude’, you will probably be disappointed.  (People are not fools:  they have a very quick eye for anything like showing off, or patronage.)  But whenever we do good to another self, just because it is a self, made (like us) by God, and desiring its own happiness as we desire ours, we shall have learned to love that person a little more or, at least, to dislike them less.  –C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity


Matthew 22:37-40  —  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.”

Luke 6:31  —  (Jesus said), “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

Romans 13:8  —  Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.

I John 4:11  —  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 


Bestow on me, Lord, a genial spirit and unwearied forbearance; a mild, loving, and patient heart; kindly looking, pleasant, and friendly speech and manners in daily life; that I may give offense to no one, but as much as in me lies, to live in charity with all people.  AMEN.  –Johann Arndt