What it means to love others as yourself

“To love (God) with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Mark 12:33

In 1986, a terrible tragedy happened in the Black Sea off the coast of Russia. Hundreds of ship passengers were killed when two ships collided, throwing many into the icy waters below. The news became even darker when the cause of the disaster was revealed.

It wasn’t heavy fog, a technical malfunction, or even a crew member’s inattentiveness that caused the collision. No, the tragedy was caused by human ego. Each captain was aware of the other ship’s presence. But instead of steering clear, each refused to give way to the other and both proceeded on course. By the time they came to their senses, it was too late.

Oftentimes, selfishness and ego lead to destruction. It may not be the physical destruction of life that was seen in the story above, but self-centeredness can leave in its wake emotional and relational scars that can linger for years, or even last a lifetime.

This is why the command to love others as ourselves is so important. As members of Christ’s body, we have the responsibility of living at peace with others – believers and unbelievers alike. And that’s simply not possible to do if our own egos are greater than our love for people.

Watch your ego. Don’t let it rule in your dealings with others. Humble yourself and put people first. That’s what it really means to love others as yourself!


Prayer Challenge

Ask God to help you daily when it comes to putting your ego aside and putting others first!


Questions for Thought

What is it about our egos that typically makes us want to put ourselves first?

How might your life look differently if you really took to heart the idea of putting others before yourself?