One of the teachers of Torah came to Jesus while he was discussing the text and noticed that Jesus was giving great answers, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
The most important one,” said Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Jesus in answering this teacher of Torah, combined two commandments out of Torah. The Shema, from Deuteronomy chapter 6 and the second part from Leviticus 19:18 where is says, ‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.’
Most of us are extremely blessed to be surrounded with people who make it easy for us to love and to keep this commandment. But then there are people in our lives – you know the ones. They are the type of people that God allows to cross our paths, who make keeping this commandment very difficult.
How can we love these people who make our lives so difficult?
See, the secret of love is hidden within the Hebrew word for love, אַהֲבָה AHAVA. At the very center of the word אַהֲבָה AHAVA, is the word havwhich means “to give.”
The secret of love is to give. Not just in words, but in actions as well.
If we reflect on our lives, we soon realize that we don’t love those who give us the most, but we love those the most who we give to the most. If you are a parent you understand the depth of love for you son or daughter, but also the tremendous sacrifice and giving involved.
When we are able to give to someone, we are giving to that person a small piece of who we are. The more we are able to give, the greater we become a part of that person. By loving our neighbors, the stranger, or that person who is causing us the most trouble, the goodness of giving begins to show in their lives.
To love your neighbor requires for you to give. The more you give, the more capacity you will have to love more. And before long, you will see the reflection of your love shining through their lives.