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Love your Neighbour and Love One Another

“Love your neighbour as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 NIV

“A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” John 13:34, 35 NIV

Are these two commands the same or different? When Jesus defined “neighbour,” he called a Samaritan a neighbour of the Jews, even though Samaratins and Jews hated each other. They did have common roots, however. Jesus didn’t, for example, us the example of a Greek or Roman. The command to love one another is clearly a command to love our brothers and sisters in Christ as Jesus loved us. Jesus didn’t say, “All men will know that you are my disciples if you love them,” but “if you love one another.” Is “neighbour” the same as “one another”? Except that there is no way the Jews saw the Samaritans as their brothers and sisters.

Could it be that the second greatest command is to love everyone as ourselves but to “love one another as I have loved you,” is more specific? A higher degree of love? Non-Christians will look at Christians and watch how we treat each other?

Sadly, we don’t treat fellow Christians well at all. Look at all the divisions in the Church: the different denominations; the conflict between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland; the Klu Klux Klan! The world looks at us and sees anything but love between us. We show more love to unbelievers than to each other—though even that love is flawed. We rush to the aid of Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists who have been devastated by cyclones and tsunamis but we treat homosexuals as pariahs.

Do unbelievers recognize us as belonging to Jesus? Do people see me and know that I am his? How am I loving my neighbour who hasn’t met Jesus? How am I loving the Christian who is irritating the socks off of me?

Lord, please help me let love define all I do.

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …