“Love my Neighbor and Myself”
I was recently reminded of a cute story from working with 3-5 year olds in my church’s Wednesday night program. We were learning Mark 12:31. The shortened version for the preschoolers was “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” (We were using the King James Version at the time.) I wanted to teach respect for God’s word by having the children say the exact words, but this one seemed to backfire.
If I broke the verse down into two sections the kids could say the correct words. But when we put the whole verse together, many of the kids said, “Love my neighbor and myself.”
Not “as myself”.
At first I just chuckled over the cute mistake, but I realized the truth behind what they said.
Preschoolers are often brutally honest. The truth is that we do love ourselves. We don’t naturally want to put others first. Unless we come close behind. But to put others first without the thought of getting something in return…that is not so easy. Especially for preschoolers. And adults. Pretty much all of us.
I enjoy reminiscing about cute kid stories, and the lessons they sometimes bring are priceless.
Now to work on loving others. May God help me put Him first (Mark 12:30) and others next (Mark 12:31). I need to disappear (John 3:30).
Mark 12:30-31 KJV
30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
Mark 12:30-31 NASB
30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’31 The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.
Mark 12:30-31 AMP
30 and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul (life), and with all your mind (thought, understanding), and with all your strength.’ 31 This is the second: ‘You shall [unselfishly] love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.