Monday, February 22, 2010

Foundation #5 - Love God, love people

These commandments were elevated to the most important commandments by Jesus when he was on the earth (Matt. 22:36-37). #1 - Love God; #2 - Love people.

There is something conspicuous by its absence here - me. I don't have to love myself; I already do. I feed myself, clothe myself, think about how I am going to get things for myself; I don't have to be commanded to love myself - it is my default setting. Loving God and loving others - well, that is not as easy given my bias toward me.

The expanded version of commandment #1 (found in Duet. 6 also) adds - love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. That is pretty encompassing; not leaving a lot of room for loving of other things.

My first thought should be "am I loving God by doing this?". My second should be "am I loving others by doing this?". If I have to answer "no" to either of those questions, then I probably should not be doing what I am doing. These two commandments are a yardstick to measure my thoughts, words and actions by.

(PS - Note that loving people includes those who are part of the family of God and those who are "not yet believers". We call the second kind of love "evangelism".)

Principles so far:
#1 You reap what you sow
#2 God is good all the time
#3 Fruit of the Spirit is the yardstick
#4 Forgiveness is a key to unlocking spiritual growth

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