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Let’s begin by reading Galatians 5:13-14, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”  Presupposing that the love we have for the Lord is our motivation in serving one another, we learn here that in loving our neighbor as ourselves, we fulfill the law; for true love to our fellow man only comes through knowing and having the love of God.  We also read Galatians 6:2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”  The ‘bearing of one another’s burdens’ is the practical acting out of the love we are to have for our neighbors.

It is true that people will often use our kindness and take advantage of our love for them.  Some will treat us terribly no matter how much we show love to them.  What should we do?  We should love them anyway.  It’s said of the Lord Jesus in Acts 10:38 that He, “…went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”  In His life on the earth, the Lord loved everyone.  He healed the sick; He gave sight to the blind; He healed the lame; He raised people from the dead.  The Lord Jesus fed five thousand people at once.  On another occasion, He fed four thousand.  Yet, for all the love that He had for all, Christ said in John 15:25, “…They hated me without a cause.”  For no reason, people hated the Lord.  In spite of all the good He did; in spite of all the love He manifested, people still hated Him.

As believers on the Lord Jesus Christ, we read in Romans 5:5 that, “…the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”  The same love that the Lord Jesus had for all those who mistreated Him is now in our hearts.  Not only has the Lord told us to love our neighbors as ourselves, He has given us the love that we need to do that.  It is only as believers on the Lord Jesus Christ that we are able to obey the Word of God that instructs us in Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”  We are told to think of others as better than us, so that we will spend our time trying to minister to the needs of others.  When we consider ourselves better than others, we will not worry about their needs; we will concentrate on our own needs and wants.

Those friends and neighbors that take advantage of you have a great need.  They need to know the love of God.  In a very practical sense, they need to see the love of God in you.  When we can exhibit the love, patience, and tolerance of the Lord, He is able to work through us to win precious souls to Himself.  Romans 2:4 tells us that, “…the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.”  Some may use you; some may take advantage of you.  However, if you are persistent in showing the love of God to these people, perhaps it will serve to bring them to salvation.  Wouldn’t that be worth the abuse?  (105.3)