"Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." ~1 Corinthians 13:8-13
Since the beginning man and woman wanted to have "knowledge". Eve was tempted by the tree that bore fruit that unlocked the keys of knowing Good and Evil. This is the knowledge that would forever change the course of eternity. Knowing Good and Evil caused them to realize their nakedness. It caused sin to enter in and death to reign until Christ came to die for all sins. A man who "knew" no sin was sent to teach us how to love and to ultimately pay the debt of sin we owed. Man has always been and will remain in pursuit of "knowing". The more we know, the more we fill with pride, and yet it will vanish away.
Knowledge is good. It is good to know how to read and write. To understand how things work. With knowledge we can learn how to heal disease and how to make buildings stand a thousand years. We have a key that opens doors to opportunities when we have knowledge. Yet we know in PART.
God reveals things through nature to be understood.
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things." ~Romans
It is like looking through a dirty, foggy piece of glass. You can not make out exactly what is behind the glass. Every thing to know here on Earth is dim like that piece of glass. We can only see darkly through it. God can make every attempt to relay the importance of loving our neighbor as ourself, and yet we will not see it clearly.
We are proud of our advances whether it be knowledge or some spiritual gift of some sort. We are proud to be lifted up a bit higher than another person. If we can not learn to treat others the way we would want to be treated, which is the greatest command of Christ, we can not ever see clearly.
Why is it so hard to love your neighbor as yourself?
It is hard because most people are self seeking. We can charge top dollar for something that was given to us and yet try to get something we want for next to nothing from someone who is less fortunate in the way of money than us. I see this all the time. People look down their nose at another person and are shocked and hurt when someone looks down their nose at them. One person is hurt by rejection, yet they will reject someone else for the same foolish reason. People do not like being rejected, judged, condemned, used, and treated badly, yet they will manage to treat others in all those ways because they do not understand the most important thing-love.
"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these." ~Mark 12:31
I have had many people tell me that they helped enough and they have forgiven enough. Wow. To say you have done enough for someone after all that Christ has done and forgiven you in your life, is beyond my understanding. Can you imagine if Christ would look down to you and say, "I have forgiven you enough. You have taken advantage of my graces long enough. I have helped you enough." We know that this would be out of character of Christ. If He is our example, why do we think it is okay for us to say such things? God is the author of Charity. He is more patient and merciful than what we could ever understand. He sees clearly enough into the heart of all men so that His judgments are just. We would throw people in hell after the first or second offense, while God will allow a person the free will to sin their whole life through and forgive them as they come to him in their last dying breath. Like the thief on the cross. Jesus promised that he will be with him in paradise. None of this makes sense to us-it seems unfair that a rotten sinner should be granted and that is why God told us that we "know in part".
Treat others the way you would want to be treated not how they have treated you. Most people like to treat others the same way they have been treated. But this is backwards. I just had a talk with my daughter about this very thing. One friend was buddied up with her sister and they left her out. She wept with the pain of rejection. Yet this week another young lady was staying with us and she did the very thing that hurt her so much. She became exclusive with that friend and her sister wept with the same pain of rejection. I tried to explain to her exactly what I was writing here today about treating others the way you would want for them to treat you. I said, "Why do you treat your sister this way, you know how much it hurts."
She said, "But she was treating me like that." It feels wrong to treat someone better than they treated you. It makes sense to return evil for evil. Christ teaches us a better way-to return good for evil. We are set a part, as a follower of Christ, by how we show love and mercy.
A good practice in loving your neighbor as yourself, would be to question yourself before each action or word...
- Would I like to pay top dollar for something?
- Would I like to be made fun of for how I look?
- Would I like to be rejected by others?
- Would I like it if someone acted like they were better than me?
- Would I like it if someone said a nasty comment about me?
- Would I like it if someone made loud noises when I was trying to sleep?
- Would I like it if someone wrecked my stuff and did not replace it?
- Would I like to be treated like I am worth very little?
Your answer to each of those questions would be NO. That is because no one likes to be treated in such ways. If you would not appreciate such treatment, you should not treat others in such a way. I have found that many people are oblivious to how their actions affect others. That is because they have spent too much time looking out for number one-themselves. In other words, their excuse is they did not try, or they did not know. If they take the time to consider others they would see more clearly.
Get in the practice of silently asking yourself a few simple questions before you say or do things that will affect others. By doing so, you can figure out if your actions are in accordance with the law of unlimited love and kindness.