Love God and love your neighbor.
Jesus said that when we do these two things we fulfill God’s law.
But what does it mean to love your neighbors?
It occurred to me recently that perhaps there are two ways to love people: wide and deep. You can tell me what you think.
By loving wide, I mean inviting a larger number of people into your life with whom you can share love.
By loving deep, I mean knowing better, investing more, and seeking greater intimacy.
At the risk of oversimplification, those who love widely tend to have more connections. Those who tend to love deeply have stronger connections.
To risk further generalization, I suspect that those who tend toward extroversion have a greater tendency or capacity to love widely. And those who tend toward introversion have a greater tendency or capacity to love deeply.
Both ways to love your neighbor are important—essential even—within the kingdom. So it’s not that one way is better than the other. It’s that we’re all part of the same body, and some are stronger in one area while others are stronger in another.
Should those who have a natural tendency to love deeply learn to love more widely?
And should those who tend to love widely learn to love more deeply?
Perhaps, to a certain extent, but I’m not so sure.
I suspect that there is an inverse relationship between loving widely and deeply. The more widely you love, the less deeply you can love. The more deeply you love, the less widely you can love. Both are significant, but you can’t do both to the extreme.
Rather than placing unrealistic expectations on ourselves and others (to love both widely and deeply), I think it might be better to learn to appreciate the differences so that we can understand one another and build on our complementing strengths.
These are newly forming thoughts. What do you think? Does this make sense? Is it helpful?