Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
One quote from Jesus that has received a lot of press, is “Love your neighbor.” Most people seem to have heard it whether they know where it came from or not. Many probably are not aware it is only part of a powerful statement.
A man asked Jesus which one of all God’s rules and regulations was the most important. Jesus’ surprising answer was this:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30, 31)
Well, that narrows it down, doesn’t it? One of Jesus’ disciples, John, said we love God by keeping his commands (1 John 5:3,4a), and his commands are to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another (1 John 3:23).
Love is an action, sometimes accompanied by warm and fuzzy emotions. Love is a choice we make each day, that can overpower thoughts to the contrary. Love is not apathy. Love is what God wants. Love is who he is.
Love as you love yourself
Naturally, we love ourselves with or without comfortable emotions and thoughts. If rocks are flying at our heads, we duck. In a storm we seek shelter. We look for food and water each day. These are acts of love we perform for our well-being.
Disheartened, we want encouragement. Weak, we want help. Our hope is for everyone to be patient with our imperfections! These kindnesses are but a few we wish to receive because we love ourselves and want out needs met. Each of these are described as acts of love in 1 Thessalonians 5:14b.
Whether trying to support a loved one in emotional distress, with mental illness, or struggling for freedom from abuse or addiction, we are most effective when we love God with our whole being. Loving God leads to extending to those who are hurting the kind of love for which we long.
Love as you love God
Jesus spoke to his disciples about judgment day. Jesus is The King.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
So you see, obeying God’s greatest commandments to love others with the natural protection, nourishment, emotional support, and patience we want, IS part of loving God.
Today’s Helpful Word
1 John 4:8
“Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
***** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.
If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. (for international emergency numbers, go here ), or go to your nearest emergency room. Do not be alone. Hope and help are yours.