Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (NKJV; emphasis mine)
As a servant of Christ we can explain and fulfill the entire law of God in one word: “love”.
This isn’t a wishy-washy, standardless love. Nor is it a Hollywood, sensual, feelings-only love. It is not a love that everyone gets to determine on their own. It is not love that says “live and let live”, “you do your thing, and I’ll do mine”. It’s not “tolerance” or a “don’t judge anything I do” mentality. It’s not political correctness or “all roads lead to God”.
“Love your neighbor as yourself” is also not a call for “self love”. In fact, that command presupposes and assumes that we already love ourselves naturally, which is true despite the current humanistic teachings of self-esteem and self-love. Humans have no trouble loving themselves and this is aptly demonstrated and proven by the fact that most of our waking thoughts and efforts are geared towards doing what we want, what we feel like and what will benefit us.
So what kind of “love” fulfills the entire law of God? It can be summed up as “the first shall be last” – the humble servant mentality. It’s love that puts others before Self.
It’s an unselfish love that elevates other’s needs and desires to the same importance, or higher, than our own. It’s the kind of love that obeys and adheres to God’s commands and principles. It’s love that causes us to look past our own agenda, our own needs, our own plans and own our desires and begin to live daily life with SOME OTHER FOCUS THAN “ME”.
That’s a hard one to swallow because this is the point where everyone gets defensive and starts trying to prove in their own mind that they hardly ever think about themselves. It’s certainly not for me or anyone other than YOU to examine your life, your heart and your motives to see if you live your life loving “self” or loving your “neighbor”. You must ask God to reveal the truth about that to you.
Who is your “neighbor”? It’s anyone and everyone that God puts in your life that you have an opportunity to show love to. As well as being your spouse, kids and family, it may be other Christians or friends. It will be the actual people in your neighborhood (who we commonly call “neighbor”). Or it may be a person you run across only one time, and will never see again.
To fulfill the whole law of God is to LOVE. True Godly love is getting your mind off “self” and focused on to others. The world says, “love self, esteem self, take care of self, put self first”. God says, “love others, esteem others, take care of others, put others first” and by doing this, you not only fulfill the whole law of God, but in truth, you are loving “self” because you are putting “self” right with God.
Find a neighbor and love them today, for God’s glory. If you are struggling and unhappy, find a neighbor to love and see how quickly you feel better. If you don’t feel close to God today, find a neighbor to love and see how dramatically your intimacy with God will improve. If you are suffering or lonely, find a neighbor to love and enjoy the soothing, refreshing feeling that comes with fulfilling God’s law.