OTHERS. This word is important because Christ calls us to love OTHERS (or neighbors) as we love ourselves in the Gospel of Matthew 22:38-39. This does not mean only other Christians, it means everyone. God loves us and commands us to love OTHERS.
OTHERS can be your sister, or brother, mother, or father, husband or wife, or even your neighbor next door or your friend down the street. OTHERS are anyone but yourself. I have a lot of OTHERS in my life, and I strive to love them just as I am commanded by Jesus to do. My husband is one of the OTHERS in my life, and I work hard to love him as I love myself. For instance when he comes home from work, I try to discuss how his day has gone so far, and make him comfortable and let him know that I appreciate all he does for this family. I also work hard to keep our relationship running smoothly by communicating with him how I feel and what I need, as well as listening to him tell me what he needs and what his feelings are.
My children are some more OTHERS my life. Their needs come before mine, because they are not yet self-sufficient and cannot take care of themselves. I make sure they get up for school on time, make them brush their teeth and get them out the door on time for the bus. I also cook their meals, help them with homework, and problems with friends, or just life in general. They are important to me and I work very hard to love them like Christ loves me.
My friends are some of those OTHERS as well. Christ showed me how to love OTHERS by his example. I don't always agree with my friends or their choices but I love them in spite of our differences. When we have disputes and I feel I have been wronged, I choose to forgive despite how I feel. I have learned over the years that to forgive is a decision to make not a feeling to feel.
Strangers I meet outside my home are OTHERS as well. The lady down our street who works at The Market is someone I strive to be friendly to and engage with in conversation. The homeless guy who I see on the corner by Wal-Mart is another stranger who I love, and I show that love by taking him a hot meal and a soda, or slipping him a $5 when I have it on me. The ladies at the school office or the cashier at my local grocery store, these are all strangers that I have decided to love the way Christ taught me to do in the New Testament. As well as my neighbor who smokes and drinks and sometimes has loud parties, and whose kid comes home at 3am with stereo blasting away for 30 minutes in the driveway, I love him too, although sometimes I find it difficult..lol..
I hope that when you run into OTHERS you decide to love them because once upon a time Christ loved you and then commanded that we act in kind. Have a wonderful day and go over to tossing it out and have a look see at some OTHER wonderful blogs.