|Subject: protection from breakdowns|
|PROTECTION FROM BREAKDOWNS|
We shall briefly analyze the second most important commandment as told by our Lord Jesus Christ. We find that in Luke 10:27, which goes like this. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself‘. This phrase occurs seven times in the New Testament.
Yes, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.‘ Just imagine, what would happen if every one is obedient to just these two important commandments of loving God & loving others. Then there wouldn’t be any place for cheating, disputes, fightings, killings and the sort. The whole world would have been a heavenly one.
Luke 10:29 says, But the teacher of the Law wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, Who is my neighbor? Then the Lord had to tell the parable of the Good-Samaritan to bring about a clear picture of who actually is one’s neighbor. According to the parable, Samaritan helped the helpless wounded-man, unlike the Levite and the priest and is thus said to have acted like a neighbor to the wounded-man. Hence, it is clear that the helpless person in our vicinity is our neighbor. It is also obvious from the above parable that the neighbor could be a stranger as the wounded-man was a stranger to the Samaritan.
How are we told to love our neighbor? As we love our self. Everyone love them self. That is obvious by the way they take care of themselves, protect themselves and provide for themselves to the minutest detail. So here the Lord is saying, just like how you take care of your self, in the same way, take care of others. In other words, He is saying, don’t stop at self-love, but stretch it to others in need. A saying goes like this: ‘charity begins at home but it should not stop there’. In this context, can we say, not everybody love themselves? Do those who tend to commit suicide really hate themselves? In fact, it is not that such people really hate themselves but actually are so protective of themselves that they think that suicide is the way to escape from their uncomfortable environment. Eph 5:29 says, none of us hate our own bodies. We provide for them and take good care of them, . . .
How we use our tongue plays a very crucial role in our dealings with our neighbor. Pro 18:21 says. What you say can preserve life or destroy it; so you must accept the consequences of your words. What it means is that, what we say creates results of either building-up or causing destruction to our hearers. Hence, it is very important to keep our tongue in control and use it in a proper way. According to a Bible commentator, in a particular harbor, all the ships have to go through what is called the three golden-gates and at each gate some kind of checking is done to certify if they are fit for ocean-journey. Likewise, he suggested, before any word comes out of our mouth, we should go through three checks and only then speak out the words. The (modified) check-points at those gates are given below:
A. Is it true? Not everything that we hear can be necessarily true. Pro 14:15 a says, A fool will believe anything; . . . If we just communicate to others what we have heard without verifying if what we heard is true, we could be branded as liars.
B. Is it necessary? We are not expected to communicate everything to others even if is true. It’s a sheer waste of time and energy. Is it required for one to know all that we want to tell that person? Will there be any problem if we do not convey that information? Think about these questions, decide judiciously and act accordingly.
C. Its effect on unprepared hearts: Some people, particularly new born believers, may not be able to take if told about, say, a particular spiritual personality that they esteem has been linked to some kind of fault. This could result in discouragement of such people from following the Lord and may even knock off their faith. Also, some people, though long time followers of the Lord, but have not yet deliberately overcome jealously, would find any information about the good of others too hard to digest resulting in them getting provoked and release anger. Hence, it is better not to tell such things to such people until they really grow-out of such negative web and are strong enough to receive such news.
Actually by obeying this command of the Lord, we will be blessed tremendously. Carl Augustus Menninger (July 22, 1893 – July 18, 1990), was an American psychiatrist and a member of the famous Menninger family of psychiatrists who founded the Menninger Foundation. A man asked Dr. Carl Menninger, What would you advise a person to do if he felt a nervous breakdown coming on? Most people expected him to reply, Consult a psychiatrist. To their astonishment he replied, Lock up your house, go across the railroad tracks, find someone in need and do something to help that person. What he meant is, by helping others; we will be protecting ourselves from breakdowns. How wonderfully psychiatry vindicates the Word of God. A saying goes like this: ‘To double your joy, divide it with someone.’
Consider below an extract from a biography on Sadhu Sundar Singh - (1889-1929), an Indian Christian missionary:
Sadhu Sundar Singh was hiking with a companion from northern India over a narrow, winding, mountainous track into Tibet. It was freezing cold and snow began falling heavily so that their very lives were at risk. As they trudged on they stumbled over a fellow traveler who had fallen exhausted and was already being covered with snow. When the sadhu asked his companion to help carry him to their destination the companion refused. “If we do that we will also die,” he said. The companion hurried on but Sadhu Sundar Singh lifted the unconscious man onto his back and gradually made his way forward. At a point where walking became easier and the snowfall lessened the sadhu found his companion who had hurried on ahead. He had frozen to death, whereas the extra effort and warmth of carrying the stranger had saved Sadhu Sundar Singh’s life and the stranger’s as well.
It is clear that Sadhu Sunder Singh saved his own life from getting frozen by helping the helpless stranger. Note the tremendous power embedded in obeying the second most important commandment.
When somebody needs some help and we are capable of helping that person, then that is the actual point of deciding to go all out to do our best. If our neighbor is blessed and encouraged by what we do, it won’t be long before he too starts looking around for helpless neighbors. BUT none can really love their neighbor unless he or she loves God first.
Finally, consider the verse in Gal 5:14 that says, for the whole Law is summed up in one commandment: Love your neighbor as you love yourself.
|Posted by: christopher on 15 Aug. 2011|
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