God gave us a commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” (Matt. 22.37-38) You should remember that God kept this commandment before humankind did…
When listening to the commandment, if you think that it starts with you, you are seriously mistaken. God is the Subject of human life, love and ideals. Before He brought this commandment to humankind, God first went through a historical course of exerting his entire mind and will for the sake of humankind. In other words, before any human being loved God with all his heart and soul and mind, God loved humankind with all His heart and soul and mind. God could give us this commandment because God first kept it Himself. (4:304, October 5, 1958)
True love has two axes: the vertical and the horizontal. True love on the vertical axis means that God is the Creator; He is the source of true love, and He loves His creation. Human beings, as the supreme creation of God, are the recipients of God’s true love and return love and beauty to Him.
True love on the horizontal axis means that our actions are motivated by love for the sake of others, and we give our love to others in a way that will be genuinely beneficial to them. Within a family, the husband may energetically pursue the Will of God, even running far ahead of his wife. But if his motivation is for the sake of his family, all the members of that family will feel united in love. We can see, therefore, that the true concept of unification emerges when we act from the motivation of sacrificially loving others.
All creation is an effort of giving. It is a universal law that the giver prospers and grows. When a person only takes from others in order to satisfy his desires, that selfish action is not love, and it ultimately creates enemies. He will become more isolated and decline. But a person who gives of himself to benefit others creates friends who will in turn help him. He will inevitably receive more than he gave, and he will prosper. Therefore, the person of true love lives for the highest purpose, and then gives of himself. These two axes of true love are the principle behind Jesus’ great commandment. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” teaches the vertical axis of true love, and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself’ teaches the horizontal axis of true love. (November 25, 1988)
While on earth we must attend God in a way that brings Him joy. So what should be our standard of attendance? By making offerings that meet with God’s desire we develop a character that matches with God’s heart. That is the meaning of Jesus’ first commandment, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength.”
Once you love God with all your heart, all your soul and all your strength, what happens next? God then manifests His love through you to relate with all people. Since you have become one with God’s love, you are able to love all people. Hence in your family, you give your utmost love to your father
and mother, and then you give your utmost love to your brothers and sisters. That family will be a happy family.
God wants to dwell in the family whose members love the Lord their God with all their heart, all their soul and all their strength, and then love their brothers and sisters in the same manner, even more than they love [God] their Father. If we establish our family like that, God cannot help but dwell there. (101:153-54, October 29, 1978)
The second commandment is to love the people of the world like your own self. Just as you should love God by offering even your whole life, you should love your neighbors even by sacrificing your life. Just like you stake your life to protect yourself, you should become a person who can risk his or her life to love and protect all people. (143:137, March 17, 1986)
Jesus said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” but what does it mean? Specifically, it means that when you go into the world, you should love elderly people as your own grandparents, middle-aged people as your own parents, and youth as your own children. You love the people in all these positions: above and below, right and left, and front and rear. (128:23, May 29, 1983)
Who is your neighbor? Are your neighbors only those who also believe in Jesus? No. Your neighbors include people at the ends of the earth. Even the people in the bosom of the Devil are your neighbors. When Jesus said to love your enemies, he included the Roman soldiers. Actually, you should not think of your neighbors as neighbors, but as your older brothers. It is a principle of the Unification Church that you have to restore Cain. Every Cain-type person is actually your older brother. (138:187, January 21, 1986)