How to Love Your Neighbor | 3 Keys to Fulfilling God’s Commandment

How do you love your neighbor? Jesus said,

“The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these”  

—Mark 12:29-31

This seems to be a straightforward command. But how do you love your neighbor, or a family member, who is difficult and unlovable? This is when the challenge comes. 

Love Your Neighbor When They Are Unlovable

“But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.”

—Luke 6:32-33

To love your neighbor, you must understand…

Your identity

“And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

—Galatians 3:29

You have been set apart for a purpose

“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”

—Ephesians 1:11-12

When these two truths are understood, you are positioned to fulfill the command of loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself. These commandments come with a promise. This is a way of seeking God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, as stated in Matthew 6:33. The promise is… “and all these things shall be added to you.”

What are the things that will be added to you when you operate according to God’s Word? A full supply of your every need. 

Loving Others Can Be Hard! 

Have you had a disagreement with someone? Is there someone in your family with whom you don’t see eye-to-eye on certain issues? 

If you find it is difficult to love your neighbor, family, or others, humbly come before the Lord and ask Him to remind you of who you are in Him. Ask Him to remind you of who you were before Him. When you understand that grace was extended to you when you did not deserve it, you are better able to love your neighbor and anyone the Lord places in front of you—no matter the season. 

Click on the video above to watch and listen as Rabbi Curt Landry walks you through how to love your neighbor.

3 Keys to Loving Your Neighbor

  1. Never let a situation mean more than your relationship with a person. 

The flesh is at enmity with the Spirit. The enemy will play on your mind, will, and emotions by putting you in situations with others that spark your flesh to act. When you are not aware of warfare, you can easily place the importance of a situation above the relationship you have with a person. 

For example, if the enemy uses ego or pride in your life to steal, kill, and destroy you, you could act on the desire to be “right” rather than extend grace. 

Do this…

Ask the Lord to reveal if and how you have placed situations and fleshly mindsets above relationships with others. 

  1. Remember how others have loved you. 

As mentioned above, there was a point in your life when someone extended grace when you didn’t deserve it. Pause for a moment and think of a situation when you acted in a foolish manner. How did your actions impact others? Now think back to when someone didn’t condemn you but instead loved you, extended grace to you. This is what the Lord is calling His children to do in this hour—to love. Remember, love is the nuclear weapon of spiritual warfare. 

First John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” So then, the enemy uses fear to torment you and destroy your relationships. But when you remember how you were and are loved—both by God and by others—this is a sign of maturity and growth in your relationship with the Lord. 

Do this…

Reflect on a time when someone extended grace to you. Ask the Lord who you need to extend grace to in this season. 

  1. Have a Kingdom perspective. 

To have a Kingdom perspective when loving your neighbor, think about what you say and how you say it. The heart-motive behind your words matters. For there to be unity and fellowship among the family of God, friends, and neighbors, the words you speak are seeds that sow a crop you will later reap. What fruit do you want to see in the next season?

Do this…

Think about and ask the Spirit to reveal the answer to this question: Is there something I have said or haven’t said, participated in or haven’t participated in, that gave a foothold for the enemy to stop what God was trying to do for the Kingdom?

Click here for Hanukkah: A Story of God's Amazing Miracles.

Now What? Take Responsibility, Repent, and Remove

Perhaps there has been a relationship that has been a challenge in your life…

Take responsibility for your part. 

Remember, there is no condemnation in Christ. 

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

—Romans 8:1

Still, you do have a responsibility to be humbly honest about the words you’ve said or actions you’ve taken that have impacted others in a way that wasn’t graceful. When you take responsibility, you are in the process of silencing the accuser because you agree with the Lord that what was said or done was in the flesh. Then you apply the blood of Jesus over you and the situation. 

Return to the Lord and repent.

After taking responsibility, do not allow shame and guilt to creep in. Instead, give it to God. Return to Him. Repent of the words or actions that had negative Kingdom impacts and move on. The Lord says that He cleanses you of all unrighteousness. Trust His Word. 

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

—1 John 1:9

Choose to forgive. 

Forgiveness is a choice. This includes the choice to forgive others and yourself. In repentance, you give it to God, and you ask Him to forgive you. Then you walk in the forgiveness that was given. This means to forgive and walk it out according to the Word. 

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

—Ephesians 4:32

Close up of a wooden gavel in a court room.

Prayer to Silence the Accuser

Use the prayer below as a guide to enter the heavenly courts and silence the accuser… 

“Father God, in the name of Yeshua, I come to You, entering the Courts of Heaven. Forgive me. I repent of speaking any words that have slowed down the unification and expansion of Your Kingdom. If I have gossiped, slandered, or have been involved in any conversation that was not honoring to You, Lord, I regret this and repent of it now. I ask that it be recorded that I am taking ownership of it, and I am asking for forgiveness in the name of Yeshua. 

“Lord God, because of the difficulty loving my neighbor the way You desire, I have felt drained, bitter, and resentful. Lord, I come now to ask You to remove this from the record. I apply the blood of Jesus in the mercy courts. I declare that the blood of Jesus expunges the sin from my book of remembrance. 

“Send Holy Spirit to strengthen my character and my nature. I want to be stable and steady in You, Lord. I ask for an open heart, not a closed heart. I ask You to make me a servant and remove any selfishness. Lord, I want to operate out of a place of confidence, out of the new creation You have made me. I want compassion that is unconditional. 

“Father, I extend grace and will not try to control every situation or person I interact with. It is not about my performance. I surrender situations and ask for Your strength to not put situations above people. 

“I thank You, that even in the midst of the chaos of the season, that You are steady, constant, and never changing. In Jesus’ name, amen and amen!”