Learning to Care for Others
Matthew (22:37-40) says “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Loving the Lord with your whole heart, soul, and mind is a vertical relationship. This is the degree of love expressed by humankind to the creator. And “Love your neighbour as yourself” is a horizontal relationship which is also a standard for expressing your love for your fellows. God created the universe and because the universe is created by one God, there existed an integrated order (Creative Order). This order exists between humankind. When the order between people loses its balance, conflicts, turmoils and wars happen. Therefore loving God and loving humans can enable all humankind, God and the universe to return to the glorious moment of creation.
How to achieve Love your neighbour as yourself?
Loving your neighbor begins with caring for others. But we must learn to care for others by caring for ourselves, because to love our neighbours as ourselves, we must first love ourselves. If we fail to care for ourselves, how can we care for others and how can we understand and sympathize with others.
The first thing we have to learn is to be aware of our emotions and listen to our hearts. When we face our fears and anxieties, we have to entrust our worries to God and pray that he would grant us strength to face our troubles. Under the continual guidance of God, we learn about ourselves and grow into our best selves. Beginning with caring for ourselves, understanding ourselves and loving ourselves, let God’s love manifest itself in our lives.
Confucius wrote in The Way of Ultimate Wisdom “genial development of the common people and endless pursuit of the perfection of humanities.” When we grow into our best selves, we can step into the shoes of other people and sympathize with them. We can weep with the grieving and rejoice with those in joy. This naturally expressed care for others is unpretentious. This mode of care will be continuously energized and renewed by the love of Jesus Christ so that we can care for ourselves and care for others until we reach a state of perfection.