Summary: Loving God and loving others requires that we love ourselves.
1 How good and pleasant it is
when God’s people live together in unity!
The greatest commandment that we have been given is to love God, love our neighbor and love ourselves. This commandment consists of three parts and no part can be fulfilled without fulfilling the other two parts. How can we claim to love God if we do not love our neighbor, or if we love them conditionally? How can we truly provide unconditional love to our neighbor if we do not have a personal relationship with God? More importantly, how can we love our neighbor if we do not first love ourselves? In fact, it would seem impossible to truly love God and all his creations if we do not love ourselves.
By claiming to love God, we profess that we love all he has created, and therefore are claiming to love his greatest creation of all, ourselves. For God placed breath in our lungs and allows us to take every single breath that we breathe. He told us that he knew us before we were born. Consequently, we must come to the realization that we are worthy of being loved, for certainly God would not create you if you were not worthy of being loved. Therefore, we must value ourselves, and love ourselves unconditionally.
As I said before, it would seem that it is impossible to love God, without loving ourselves.
Once we come to the realization that we are worthy of being loved, and come to love ourselves then we can love those around us. Remember, that this must be unconditional and all-inclusive. We cannot truly love one brother and not love another, or select which brothers in Christ to love. For all brothers and sisters in Christ are equally worthy of being loved.
Certainly we cannot live together in unity if we don’t not love each other. It is possible to coexist without love, but to exist in unity means to exist as one. Just as a married couple learns to live as one so must Gods people learn to live as one. This means that we exist without quarrelling, and devouring one another. We must exist by delighting in each other with mutual endearment, and striving to promote each other’s well being.
If we live in unity then we will live together without causing or desiring harm to each other. The groom does not wish harm for his new bride on his honeymoon, rather the opposite; chances are he would be willing to lay his life down for her, just as Christ laid his life down for us. This is the attitude that we need to have for each other if we are to live in unity.
How good and how pleasant it is!
It is in fact good in itself and agreeable to the will of God. Indeed, it is the very conformity of earth to heaven; therefore it is good for us, for our honor and comfort. Most importantly, it is pleasant and pleasing to God and all good men, and brings constant delight to those who do live in unity.
We cannot fathom the goodness and pleasantness of it, for it goes beyond our own understanding and is contrary to our earthly nature. However, as children of God, and followers of Christ we are no longer of this world and our earthly nature has been discarded and replaced by Godly principles. It is these Godly principles that makes it possible to live in unity. Truly living in unity and harmony is in itself not of this world. The world would tell us that this is impossible.
Living in unity is so much against our earthly nature that it requires us to live as if we are in another world. There must be so much goodness and pleasantness among men that we exist not of this world, but rather exist as if we were already in heaven. We must emulate Heaven and create heaven on earth. For truly this is the greatest desire of God!
Living together in unity brings abundance of blessings along with it, as numerous as the drops of rain in a storm. If you ever watch a storm very closely you will notice that it does not consist of just one pool of water, but rather it consists of millions of individual drops of water. These individual drops do not do their own thing but rather work so closely as to appear as one cohesive unit. In order to live in unity we need to live as the rain. We need to be like the individual drop that works together with all the others for the same purpose, to create the rain.
Unconditional love does not wait for the other person to love us first, but rather should go before the love of others. This is divine love! The proof of our love is our blessing. When we live in unity and love unconditionally, then we receive blessings as many as the drops of rain. By being blessed by God, we are blessed indeed. When we live in unity God will demand blessing for us. God has the prerogative to command the blessing; we cannot claim to love our brother in hope of receiving God’s blessing. We are unable to demand the blessing.