“Love thy neighbour as you love yourself” is a great commandment from our Lord Jesus Christ.
The above statement from our Messiah and Saviour Jesus Christ should not be taken like any other opinion expressed by any individual, but a serious instruction to be obeyed for our own good as believers in Christ Jesus.
Love means: to hold dear, show concern for ourselves and equally for others. According to Christ’s definition, a neighbour is any other person, either one who live within our locality or at a distance.
Male or female and regardless of where a person comes from. Here it means nationality or colour of the skin do not count at all.
A neighbour can be even a sister or brother, parents, or any family member.
Definition of neighbour is not only a person who lives near you, but it is in this case, humanity of the whole world. The illustration of Jesus Christ as to who is a neighbour is in Luke 10: 29-17.
The illustration is about loving kindness. The same commandment appears in Leviticus 19:18, but receives emphasis in the book of Mark, and a definition of the meaning of neighbour. According to Jesus Christ a neighbour is certainly beyond a nuclear family.
A nuclear family syndrome is actually not Christian. It is of a selfish mentality.
Love is a unifying factor in all areas of human endeavour. Families, communities and Nations of the world which exercise love among its people, are likely to face challenges of the world with much more courage as a united force.
It is not always the case that, those who are better than others in terms of resource accumulation will find it necessary to help the needy, unless they are filled with love.
It is always said and emphasized that love is an element required in society for promoting peace and purifying society, as where there is love, there are less atrocities caused by man against man, due to hate, envy and jealousy.
A society which is propelled by love will always put in place a mechanism of how to look after the needy in society.
A family as a smallest unit in society should take measures to take care for its own people as often as this may deem necessary without giving up.
A family bond is most likely to be stronger when people are able to come to the aid of one another as family members.
The needy members, the young and the old will be properly served by those with better resources.
The young will not for example miss out on attaining the required educational qualifications and skills, while older members will be assisted with support required for them to lead a normal life, depending upon the condition of their health status and ability to work.
Family members who love one another, score high on their status quo in society. Become leaders of the highest echelon in society. They always remain a united force in case of problem solving.
There is simply ecstatic moody among the family members. Attention is paid to all and sundry as an appeal for support is announced within the family circles.
Such a family is one led by the wisdom and spirit of God. This is not spoon feeding, but genuine support.
It is in the church of God, where the love of God should remain permanent.
A good church, therefore will find ways and means to support its vulnerable members. Any church which its leadership shows concern for the welfare of others, will certainly add in its numbers, just as did the early church, led by apostles Peter, Paul and others.
While some churches are very good at supporting the vulnerable, other churches are there only for few members of the church, as others remain languishing in their poverty.
To love others was not a new commandment, but to love others as much as Christ loved us is what is revolutionary.
We are now as believers challenged to love others as based on Christ’s sacrificial death, endured because of us.
This is the kind of love which is said earlier, helped the early church to grow in thousands of numbers on daily basis (Acts 5:14-15).
The apostles of the early church collected food and other requirements from those who offered to help others, distribution of food without bias.
Again, just like in every family where love is the core, the church remained strong and united.
The church is supposed to be a fountain of hope and love, spreading to the rest of humanity as they together worship and praise the only one Lord, Father God Almighty, in earnest and truth.
Leaders of churches which have a deliberate programme to help the under privileged will most sincerely be honoured by those who find the necessary support in every way possible.
To exercise selfishness is to bring the church of God in disrepute, which is uncalled for what so ever.
Because in distribution of resources there should be no dissimulation (Romans 12:9), all members of the church must feel safe and loved just like others.
In (Romans 13:10) it is said that love is the actual fulfilling of the law. Christians must obey the law of love, which supersedes both religious and civil laws.
The church therefore should give an example of this kind of love, where orphans, vulnerable children and adults are cared for according to their specific needs. Widows, the aged and the sick, should also receive the share of this kind of care as members of the church.
The same kind of blessings the early church received for demonstrating love for the needy, is the same blessing the present church is to receive for caring for the under privileged.
Support to the needy is by this commandment to go beyond the family and church membership. In the book of Acts 10, was a man called Cornelius. He loved assisting the poor and was always in prayer to his Lord, Father God Almighty Jehovah Jireh.
Because he was persistent in his good deeds he received a visitor, an angel of God. Cornelius was full of love for humanity.
Today in society, are many people who have resources, and by the grace of God, they have truly realized that what they own, comes from the Lord God Almighty (Deut 8:18).
They are always therefore ready to offer or render support to the needy when this problem presents itself.
Some of them are people we know, they have a heart to assist people, and in the end they have received God’s blessings, elevated in position in society.
These individuals can be members of your church, who are more action oriented than others, and God has looked at them with grace. Without knowing, you wonder how! They simply show mercy to others. And god has shown them grace.
People around us, require food, education, medical treatment, as they suffer from uncomplicated and complicated cases, and we can do something as support to the needy. We should get involved in providing the necessary support.
To ignore this opportunity is to be unchristian (Mathew 25:36-41). As a commandment, it’s imperative that all believers be obedient to the commands of Jesus Christ in all days of our lives.
Love is about doing what is good to others. In my life I have met people God Almighty has given the grace to love others. When some people restrict their love to their husbands, wives and only to their children, others consider humanity in needy as recipients of their resources, that is to share the little they have with others.
Sharing is priesthood of the good things. Hebrews 9:11-12. when we decide to share our resources with others, it is important to remember the scripture as it is written in 2nd Corinthians 9-7.
It says: You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or response to pressure.” For God loves a cheerful giver”.
God himself is a cheerful giver and gives abundantly. If we learn to help other people, God will always be there to replenish what we give out abundantly. He will generously provide our needs in life.
When you give, do not let other people know about it in public. Keep it a secret so that our Lord, Father God Almighty in heaven, will pay you back in secret. (Mathew 6:3).
When I came to Lusaka in 1964 to train as a Medical Assistant, at the then Lusaka Central African Hospital (UTH), I was the first one in my clan from Mwansabombwe to come to Lusaka.
Those days, coming to Lusaka for most of us, was like going to the United Kingdom. I therefore made up my mind that I was going to give an equal opportunity to all my brothers, sisters and all my relatives to come to Lusaka. That was my desire and I made every effort to look after my relatives for about ten years.
The number sometimes could go to about eighteen to twenty people at each particular time. My starting salary was then K45 per month. By 1976 I was getting K90 per month.
Because of the many people I was keeping at home, I was not even able to hire a television which most people of my level were able to have.
My Lord God Almighty, rewarded me, in April 1976, I was selected to go to Mozambique as a Paramedical volunteer, among a team of ten nurses, five medical doctors and ten medical assistants (clinical officers).
I instantly bought a T.V, instead of hiring one, and whatever households that I missed out in ten years were bought, and I felt sigh of satisfaction in my heart and praised God for His favour.
After my tour of duty in Mozambique, I proceeded to Leeds in the United Kingdom, the rest is history.
As believers, we should turn away from evil, instead do what is good in the presence of humanity and our God Almighty. No person can harm you for doing what is good. Even if he does, better you suffer for doing good than suffer for doing what is wrong. So says the Holy Book in 1st Peter 3:13. God will always reward you. Sacrificial giving will result in receiving great rewards from our maker, the Lord, God Almighty Jehovah Jireh. There is a blessing in giving. Amen.