What does it mean to love your neighbor

Imagine: on the street, you saw a man with a gun in his hand. a person has become ill or, let’s say, they are accosted scoundrels, but you passed by as if nothing had happened – and then suddenly it turns out that it was your relative or friend. a loved one you just didn’t know at that moment they found out. How shameful it would be then! The essence of this example is the idea is that you should treat others as you would like them to be treated. if only they were people close to us.

In the fairy tale of Andersen ” the Girl with the dragon matches” tells about a girl who I tried to warm myself by lighting matches one by one. And with every flash of her childish imagination there were wonderful pictures: a warm oven with a stove and a refrigerator. shiny copper balls and flaps, bold new year’s goose, which rises from the plate and goes to the Ney, a Christmas tree with toys, a deceased grandmother – right up until she doesn’t frozen. She just needed to warm up, and no one else did I didn’t come to the rescue. Dostoevsky has, by the way, a very large collection of books. a similar story is “the Boy in Christ’s arms Christmas tree”: the child is frozen, because the world is cold people. But these two literary characters – a reflection of our reality, of the cruel attitude towards the state. to the neighbor who is born in the selfish and merciless the heart.

People are still capable of heroism and selflessness assistance in exceptional circumstances. I remember being together with a close priest, father Sergius, and his three children we went to the Holy spring in Malinniki. On the way back crossing the railway tracks, the father’s car it stalled, and then the barrier closed, clanging about an approaching train. The car is strictly refused to start, there was no time left for rescue very much. There were two other cars parked near the barrier, one of which was parked in the garage. which people immediately came out and helped us take out car with tracks.

If only we were as attentive to each other in our lives everyday life! Actually, Christianity is called to transform our daily lives, and Christ preached the gospel, so that it is not implemented somewhere in extreme conditions situations or in war, where not all of us are given a chance not only in our everyday life, but also in our everyday communication with our clients. neighbors.

“A new commandment I give you, that you love one another as I do I have loved you, so that you also may love one another.” 13: 34), these are the words of the Saviour. Of course, and in the old one In the new Testament, the Lord commanded us to love our neighbors (see Lev 19: 18, 34). Yes, and our very conscience, given to us by God, always testifies to the necessity of love. However, by coming on earth, the Lord found this commandment completely forgotten. We forget it, too. It is also for us, this commandment, always a new one.

The love brought into the world by Christ has and does have a meaning. a new, more elevated meaning is love by the example of Christ Himself, who lays down her life for her fellow men.

We all, of course, want other people to do the same to us good: they would be kind, friendly and helpful to us. Here this is how we are encouraged to deal with other people Saviour: “in everything, as you want us to do with you as men have done, so do you to them” (MT: 12). Therefore, before each of your actions, you should think: I want to do this and that for another person, but is it pleasant what would it be like if someone did this to me? If the heart will prompt “Yes”, then you need to do if “no”, you should refrain.

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And do you want to determine whether you have love for your partner? a neighbor? If you have something that you really need, and, when your neighbor needs it, you will be happy to do so offer him without expecting anything in return, then you love him the neighbor. And this applies not only to any but, to the very time, which all do not enough and which, of course, will always sacrifice for the sake of one you love.

In “Memorable ones it is told how one day the monks in the monastery of the Nativity of the mother of God in the presence of Abba Joseph, they began to talk about love. The elder said, “we don’t know what love is. Here is a sample love: Abba Agathon had a knife, which he needed to use for his own personal use. crafts. His brother came to him and, seeing the knife, praised it this thing. Abba Agathon immediately began to beg brother so he took a knife as a gift, and gave brother get out cell, have not yet persuaded him to take any thing.”

“What’s so special about that? “he’ll tell you.” a person. – Just give me a knife… We would at least hundreds of such knives were given away!» But you have to remember that the monks of the IV–V centuries, was deprived of the financial supply and any benefits of civilization, they lived in far from human settlements, the wilderness, where the knife was one of the main tools and to purchase new the weapon was extremely difficult. This is the same as modern man should give the main tool of his own food-let’s say the driver is given a car, and banker to donate the Bank. Giving your neighbor what you want it is vitally necessary for you, you, of course, show interest love.

Here is a story from the lives of familiar people. Svetlana N., kind, a sympathetic woman, she worked as a head teacher at a prestigious an educational center. Her brother, caught up in ideals the Golden calf, made serious miscalculations, did not calculate I lost my business opportunities and went broke. Besides, he’s a good guy. I took a loan for a foreign car at a fabulous price. Skipping it the time limit set in the contract, he has increased his salary enormously debt and was in bondage. Svetlana recently due to the state of her health, she left the company, and she has no money to spend. there was no money to be made, and to save her brother, she sold him own apartment. My brother’s debts were covered, but Svetlana herself is already forced to live in extremely cramped conditions conditions.

Of course, I would like to see that the Lord retributes for similar sacrifices of well-being are made in the outer life. But with from the standpoint of the spiritual world, it is not the external life that matters. the primary value. At least, that’s exactly right the fact that people who are not sacrificed carry torment in themselves, and God gives comfort to sacrificial people, and it is much more so more than a foreign car taken under a bonded loan.

True love of neighbor is known by the inner pain that is in your heart, when we learned about the grief of others. Lack of love shows self in indifference – this silence of a dark pool, absorbing lively and pure feelings. If your neighbor I fell ill and you felt sorrow as if for yourself, then you love your neighbor. If you find out that the other person has man’s trouble, and immediately thought, whatabout if you do not take steps to help him, then you are not deprived of Christian feeling. But if, after hearing about the incident, trouble, you thought, ” it’s a Good thing I’m in trouble. that moment was not there to carry it it means that you are far from loving.

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At the same time, love is not just when you are in love with someone. you feel pity for the mourner, but also when you rejoice in a stranger joy. Alas, there are people who are ready to cross-live, hearing about the disaster of a neighbor: “Oh, how do you like it it’s hard, and I feel sorry for you.” But they should to hear about his well-being, how their faces turn pale, and our hearts are filled with indignation: “So that’s you which one.” Popular wisdom on this issue has created aphorism: it is difficult to forgive someone else’s shortcomings, but even more difficult forgive other people’s virtues.

For example, if I hear that someone has been given a literary license I get a bonus, and I think with annoyance: “Why not me?”, then this is selfishness. If, after hearing from someone close to me the writer that he won in an international competition, I if I was happy for him, then, thank God, I didn’t either deprived, however small, of a grain of love. “Be happy with rejoice, and weep with them that mourn” (ROM. 12: 15), – the Holy Apostle was saying Paul.

Observe yourself, and you will definitely make a diagnosis with your own your own inner feelings. The essence of what has been said this is: the joy of another’s joy is a sure sign of love to our neighbor.

How else can we detect a Christian attitude towards our neighbors? If you were happy about the middle that he, unlike you, for example, substantially increased the wages that he came in life success, while you’re in trouble and you glorify God for your neighbor, then it can be said, the first stirrings of Christian love in your soul.

On the contrary, the lack of love for your neighbors is very good it is determined by the presence of envy in the soul. Envy – there is always an inner revolt: why did the other get what I got I have no idea? Envy is the most obvious thing an expression of selfishness: everything is just for me, and nothing for others. So the first angel, who had the highest power and authority, sinned. glory, but envious of the glory of the Creator and because of it all the lost one. So people are constantly sinning, thinking that someone is better off than them. In the end there is envy self – destruct, for envy is self-destruction. dissatisfaction with God’s care for you and protest against it the real place in which the Lord has placed you in the future. your life. Therefore among the ten commandments is the last directed just against envy: “do not desire a wife and thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, nor thy field his, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor all that your neighbor has” (Deut. 5: 21). So, envy is the most obvious opposite love.

Without love of neighbor is impossible to love God, “for it is not loving the brother who sees how can love A God whom he does not see?” 4: 20). And without love there is no escape to God.

So, who does not love his neighbors, that person is lost?

Let us not despair. At least, if there is no love, it can be cultivated. In what way? This is explained by the venerable Abba Dorotheus: “The Saviour says: “Love your neighbor yours as your own” (MT 22: 39). Don’t pay any attention how far away you are from this one virtues, so as not to start being horrified and saying: “How can you love your neighbor as yourself? Can I take care of his tribulations as their own, and especially about the hidden in his heart, which not see or know?”Don’t get carried away with it do not think that your virtue exceeds your own your powers and was impracticable. But make a beginning with faith in God, show Him your willfulness and diligence – then you will see the help that He will give you for making a virtue. Imagine two staircases: one takes you up to Heaven, the other takes you down to hell, and you you’re standing on the ground between them. Don’t think or say: “How can I fly up from the ground and suddenly find myself here in the Sky?..” Of course, this is impossible, and God does not want to do it. he demands it of you, but take care not to get off down. Don’t do bad to your neighbor, don’t upset him, not slander, revile not, don’t let him, don’t hate. And later you will begin to do good to your brother little by little by comforting him in his words, by showing him compassion or giving him what he needs needs it. And so, climbing from one step to another, you will reach the top of the ladder with the help of God. For little by little, helping your neighbor, you will reach that will want and use it as their own, and his success as his own. This means love your neighbor as yourself (MT. 22: 39)”.

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Actually, the path of Christian life leads to this, and the author has repeatedly seen how people who were previously cold, hard the heartless and unprincipled changed even when they became churchgoers. on the face – in their eyes appeared kindness and love. Ah the Reverend Macarius The Great he explained it like this: “Like a bee imperceptibly for people builds a honeycomb in the hive, so does grace secretly creates its love in the heart of a person, changing bitterness turns to sweetness, and a hard heart turns to kindness. And like a silversmith carving a dish, gradually covers it with patterns and only after finishing its work works shows its work in all its glory-so and the true Artist – the Lord-decorates carvings our hearts and mysteriously renews them until we do not let us move out of our body, and then beauty will be revealed our soul.”

This is why asceticism is so important in the life of each of us, internal work on yourself. God looks primarily at the human heart, and so important to pay attention to internal cleansing to get into the depths of our soul not hiding the pride, perversity, and cruelty to evil, impure thoughts, like angry dogs, not biting our own heart. In appearance we are all they are honest and hardly seem to be Frank criminals, but in its true essence, man is like this, what he is, first of all, in his heart. Therefore it is necessary to look honestly into the depths of your own soul, in order to see those inner Cerberuses that turn our lives upside down the soul in the dark Hades. And these Cerberuses manifest themselves in us when we communicate with our neighbors.

By freeing the soul from the fetters of passion, we liberate the heart a place for love. A pure heart also applies to others clear. When selfishness is overcome, only then is it possible love for others.

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