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How to be a better lover?

Fri, Feb 5th, 2010
Posted in Faith & Worship

"Love your neighbor as yourself." Mathew 19:19 NIV

Many think of love as something that comes easy. Usually it is because people misunderstand the term "love." To be a really loving person can be challenging. Can you think of a command in the Bible which is harder than loving your neighbor as yourself?

As challenging as it may be at times to love a spouse or one of our children, Jesus explained that anyone in need should be considered as our neighbor. That would include Haitians devastated by earthquakes, the people facing genocide in the Dafur region of Sudan, and all the world's homeless and poor. As if that challenge wasn't enough, God's command urges us to love even those who treat us as enemies. Such love may seem impossible until we realized what God has done for us. While God considered us to be enemies because of our sins, God planned our salvation at the cost of his own Son's life. This kind of self-sacrificing love is really "loving your neighbor" even more than yourself.

How can a person ever attain that degree of love? The truth is we need God to help us. Only by experiencing the forgiving love of God can we begin to love even people who have deeply hurt us. It may take time and effort. It will definitely take visits with God. Join me! See you in church!

Submitted by Paul Ibisch, adjunct professor of religious studies at Viterbo University and pastor emeritus. Telephone: 608-799-0990.

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