The first major step in becoming one of those who love their neighbors as themselves is to decide to live in compassion. Now let us be clear: this is a decision to receive the abundance of the kingdom of the heavens as the basis for your life. Matthew 6:33 describes what we are to be and do. We must understand this practically in order to be free of self-concern, and our self-kingdom or-queendom. This explains why neighbor-love is not the first but the second commandment. They are not two separate commandments, but one with two aspects. (Compare the closely associated teaching about forgiving others and having God’s forgiveness [Mark 11:25–26 etc.].) They are not wholly separate things.
From Renewing the Christian Mind: Essays, Interviews, and Talks. Copyright © 2016 by Willard Family Trust. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.