"You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.
And love your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:22)
I use to worry a lot about what other people thought of my theology. Not that I ever had a true grasp on what I believed or why (other than, because I thought I was suppose to think/believe a certain way so I did), but I never wanted people to think I was less of a Christian...or even less of a person for thinking the wrong way, so I never really thought for myself and just went along with the Christian crowd. Yet over the past several years my faith has obviously become much more personal to me and I've started forming my own thoughts and opinions about God and what it means to live for Him....and the one fundamental truth I keep finding myself coming back to is that it all comes down to love!
Almost ten years ago now I was given the opportunity to participate in a year long missions program called Mission Year, which brings people into the inner city to spend time giving of themselves both to God and their neighbor through Christian service. Through out that year, over and over again, we were inundated with the slogan, "Love God. Love people. Nothing Else Matters", as day in and day out we tried to live out the implications of what that meant. God worked so much into my heart during that year (and the years that followed since I ended up living in the city for several years after my program was up), but it wasn't until recently that I've been able to look back on that time and see God's hand building a foundation of Love for Him and others in my heart!
I am not a perfect person. I don't say all the right things, I don't do everything correctly, and my social skills at times can leave a lot to be desired....BUT....I love God....INTENSELY....from the bottom of my heart through every inch of my being...and I know that He LOVES me...and He loves all His Children! So why is it that so often that message of LOVE gets lost?!?! And maybe it's just because this is an election year and thus there is so much more mud-slinging and "us" and "them" conversations going on, but it seems to me that people are becoming more and more concerned with who's right and who's wrong concerning the hot button "issues" instead of seeing each other as people...and trying to communicate out of Love!
In Matthew 22 the Pharisees are trying to trap Jesus and thus they ask Him, "Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the law of Moses". Jesus doesn't respond by restating one of the ten commandments or one of many other customary laws the ancient Jews held. And He doesn't tell them it's to make sure their theology is completely correct or that they must some how always appear perfect in the eyes of the world. Instead He says, "You must love the Lord your God with all you heart, all your soul and all your mind. This is the greatest commandment. And a second is equally as important: Love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments". Put simply, He says....Love God....Love People.... Cause nothing else matters! I thank God that now more than ever this is the foundation on which I stand!