We are commanded to 'love your neighbour as you love yourself'.
Why aren't we called to love our neighbour as we love God? That would sound a lot better, wouldn't it?
Well, our love for God is in response to how He loved us first and has given so much for us that we never deserved.
Our love for God is because He has always been there for us, He has always been faithful, even when we have failed Him.
No one around us measures up to God's standard of loving us. Our neighbours have not necessarily loved us first, nor given us much nor been faithful to us in times of trouble. In fact some of them might have been a pain!
This is why our love for them is to be patterned after our love for our own selves rather than our love for God.
Day by day we faithfully and instinctively care for and nourish our own bodies, despite any mistakes of our past.
I believe this is the kind of love and care that God is calling us to extend to our neighbours and those around us.
It is truly easy to love those who love us, but God is calling us to also love the unlovely, the unfaithful and even the unkind. To love those who have failed us and mistreated us - and not wait for them to love us first.
Let us pattern our love therefore not on people being perfect - but consistently love and care for people despite their faults and shortcomings. For this is the love of God.