There we were, ready for a great dinner out with our friends. Then our waitress showed up. I don’t know if she was having a bad day or what, but she was not happy to be there. It started off with some shortness towards us, then some frustrated sighing, and eventually we got an eye roll because we did not yet know what we wanted to order. I could not believe how she was acting towards us. To be honest, I was a little short back to her. I mean, we had done nothing to her and yet she was treating us so poorly. 


At that moment, what was God’s call to me? His call was to love my neighbor as I love myself. Now, I do not know this girl and I may never see her again, but God says to “love my neighbor as myself.” In years past I would not have thought of her as my neighbor. She doesn’t live next door to me, she’s not a friend, surely she’s not my “neighbor.” The word neighbor in Matthew 22:39 means any person with whom we live or whom we have the chance to meet. 


When I think about that definition of neighbor, it’s much broader than the person that lives next door to me. It includes my husband and children, my friends, my co-workers, the cashier at my favorite store, and yes even the unfriendly waitress at the restaurant. Since the definition is anyone whom we have the chance to meet, then that includes all people that we come in contact with. So, my call as a Christian is to love any person I come in contact with just as I love myself. 


When I think about loving myself, I think about how I make sure to take good care of myself, how I try to treat myself with grace, gentleness, and kindness. I want what is best for myself and so much more. I am to extend those same sentiments to those I come in contact with. 


My husband is really good at loving his neighbor as himself. We always joke that his super-power is getting people to tell him their whole life story. One time, we were out of town at a restaurant and he went to order us some food. A few minutes later a guy walked by and my husband said, “Hey John! Have so much fun at your cousin’s wedding and I hope you have a safe trip home.” I remarked that it was weird he ran into someone he knew when we were out of town. He replied that he actually just started talking to him in line and that the guy had just told him all that information. I, of course, was not surprised because that’s just who my husband is. We always say he has never met a stranger. I’ve asked him before why that is, and he replied, “You just never know who you are going to meet and what God is going to do through you meeting them.” I think he is saying, in essence, I want to seek to love my neighbor as I love myself. 



Week 4 Challenge:

Part of loving others as yourself is caring about their needs and putting yourself in their place. Here at Love God Greatly, we do this by providing women’s Bible studies in over 40 languages. We are thankful to have these studies in English and want other women in non-English speaking countries to have the same opportunity. This week, we are asking you to join us on this mission by helping us reach the nations with God’s Word! We each have a part to play in spreading the Good News of God’s love to the ends of the earth. Be intentional this week and introduce Love God Greatly to people who could be blessed with our resources. 

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Melissa Fuller

Melissa Fuller

Melissa loves God’s Word and is committed to helping women fall in love with Scripture (and its author!). She has a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary and served as the general editor of the NET Love God Greatly Bible and the managing editor of the CSB She Reads Truth Bible and the CSB (in)courage Devotional Bible. She currently resides in Atlanta, GA, loves running and hiking and is currently pursuing her goal of visiting all the National Parks in the US!

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