By Becky Holland
Mark 12:31 – And here is the second: “Love others as well as you love yourself.” There is no other commandment that ranks with these. (MSG)
One of the best memories that I will take with me from my time working with the Middle Georgia College Warriors football teams of 1998 and 2000 is the unique friendships that I saw develop and be established as a result of being a part of the team.
Edwardo and Mike played the same position on the defensive team. Edwardo is African American and Mike is Caucasian, but the two couldn’t have been closer than real brothers could be. Normally, I would not have pictured the two of them as being friends. It was an ironic friendship, as they both were very competitive. Where Edwardo read his Bible, was very outgoing, and kept a pretty decent grade average, Mike’s grades were pretty strong, but he was more of an introvert. Edwardo was the free spirit, who encouraged Mike to be more expressive vocally, and even encouraged him to read the Bible. These two different young men were brought together as friends as a result of being a part of the team. I remember watching the players band together, like brothers and a sister (for we had a girl kicker on this team), on the field and off.
Christians are commanded in today’s Scripture to love each other as we would love ourselves. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Do you think that God meant that we should love only white people or only black people? What about rich people or poor people? Are we supposed to love people who have red hair and glasses? The Scripture said that we should love others. The only condition on this commandment is that we love them as we would love ourselves. God doesn’t put limits on His love for us, so why should we put limits on our love for other people?
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for the opportunity that You have given us to serve You through being friends with our neighbours, our friends, our acquaintances, or even people that we don’t know yet. Father, keep us reminded of the importance of loving people unconditionally. That’s how You love us. Thank You for Your unlimited and unconditional love. Amen.