Love God and love others. These two commands are commonly attributed to Jesus, and are seemingly what the authors of the Bible declare to be our ultimate goal. But I've been thinking lately about how it appears that Christian culture has added definitions onto these commands—defining who or what 'others' are. Focusing on things like income level, race or ethnicity, neighborhood or country of residence, vice or medical condition. Unfortunately, I think that while it may be well intentioned, our desire to define 'others' is missing the point. It's making love way more complicated than I hope Jesus intended when he spoke those words two thousand years ago.
Here's something I am certain about: my love is not made greater or less by the person who it is directed towards, and who possibly receives it. There is no award system and there are definitely no gold medals when it comes to who or how we love. So therefore, there is no specific type of 'other' that we should be loving. How about I love my spouse and my children? Or I love my parents and my brother and his wife? Or my coworkers, the barista who serves my cold brew, the cashier who bags my groceries, and the teacher who cares for my child during the day?
It's that simple—love the other people in your life. I think we will find that we don't have to go out of our way to find other people to love. They are in our homes and our neighborhoods, our schools and stores, and even our workplaces. We are each others, others—let's love.