The Second Priority
“Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbour as yourself.’”
Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
As an avid golfer, I learned quickly that if I loved the game and wanted to play well I had to know and follow certain rules: keep your left arm straight; take the club away from the ball slowly; keep your eye on the ball, but never move your head, except as your shoulders turn it after impact; keep your lower body “quiet;” etc.
Because I loved golf, I wanted to learn as much as possible and incorporate what I had learned as a natural part of how I played. I must add that I still have much to learn, but I have not quit even though I don’t do everything perfectly.
Although the life of faith is not a game, some of the same disciplines of golf still apply. In Matthew 22:39, Jesus said, “The second commandment is like it, ‘you shall love your neighbour as yourself.'” This is one of the foremost rules for faith.
If we love God, we will be true men and women of faith. Our love for God dictates that we also show love to others, which leads us to be faithful and supportive husbands and wives. We will likewise be responsible fathers and mothers.
Furthermore, we will help others become the best people they can become. Moreover, we will accept as our primary vocation being the servants of God. In all, we will love and take care of others as we would take care of ourselves.
At times, keeping the commandments of Jesus might be enjoyable, maybe even fun. But on other occasions, it will be difficult, for it means loving those who are hard to love, labouring in unfamiliar surroundings, and on occasion, taking great risks. We are trusting that Christ will stand beside us in performing God’s labours of love.
Whether we live in the cities or the farmlands or in apartments or houses; and whether we wear suits and ties, or jeans and T-shirts; God has called us to love Christ and to keep His commandments. The challenge is not to waste our time but to be about loving God and loving our neighbours.
Father, help me to recognize my uniqueness, and my own ability to love others the way you created me. Show me how best to represent you today.
Study by Fraser Murdoch