At our church we have been emphasizing the ideas of “love God, love neighbor” for the last couple months. For both parts of this statement, I have come to two realizations. First, “more” is or needs to be implied because we will never love God or neighbor enough. Second, how we love God and love neighbor is best shown through how we treat them.
Romans 12 is full of ‘how’ statements about how we are to love neighbor. Love must be sincere. Honor others over self. Live in harmony. Bless those who curse you. Give food and drink to the needy – especially those who are your ‘enemy’. Overcome evil with good. This list is not complete, of course, but it is a good start.
The things on this list are also part of how we ‘show’ that we love God. Our works are born out of that love. The two cannot be separated. We also connect to God through worship, prayer, devotions, reading the Bible, fellowship. Through these practices we come to love God more. Through these we also come to understand how to love neighbor more. The two are connected.
Scripture reference: Romans 12: 9-21