Last night, as I was going to bed, I was praying to know how to “love my neighbor” better.
The answer that came to me is to love my neighbor (and myself) spiritually.
“In patient obedience to a patient God, let us labor to dissolve with the universal solvent of Love the adamant of error, — self-will, self-justification, and self-love, — which wars against spirituality and is the law of sin and death.” (Eddy, Science and Health, p. 242)
Self-will (or human wilfulness), self-justification (or feeling the need to justify what you are doing perhaps because it isn’t right) and self-love are actually the opposite of Love, divine, true Love.
A well-known, and probably the best written statement on Love comes from I Corinthians 13:
“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly,but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” (New Revised Standard Version)
I think of this wonderful statement of love as a comparison between self-love (thinking we are the best and indulging our material personality) versus spiritual love, the Love which is God itself.
We have all felt moved, touched or inspired by Love, I’m sure. Perhaps it was in helping a friend, saying just the right thing that meant so much to someone, or in a healing we had. As we erase the “adamant of error” from our consciousness we become lighter, clearer and a better transparency for divine Love, the love that heals, saves and uplifts.