Love God, Love People

Matthew 22:36-40 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “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. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

In this passage there are two commands. Jesus says that the entire Law and the Prophets hinges on these two commands. Some have, I believe, emphasized one over the other which makes the Christian life incomplete.

Loving God is more important than loving your neighbors, period. Jesus says it right in this passage: “this is the greatest commandment.” We cannot neglect our neighbors simply because the first commandment is greater though. Just because we could always love God more does not mean we should neglect our neighbors.

On the other hand, we were not created for social justice, but for God’s pleasure. He wants relationship, not worker bees.

What do we do then? Where is the balance?

I don’t think there is a balance. I believe that each person goes through seasons where one is highlighted more than the other. I also think that they overlap some…loving your neighbor could be an expression of your love for God. I suggest we simply jump into the ocean of God’s love and grace and let that love overflow to those around us. What I am saying is that we should focus on both instead of just one.

Please don’t get sucked into making an unnecessary dichotomy between these two commands. Do both.

I would like to explore this further. If you have any thoughts, please share.

Walk in Love my Friends,

Ryan

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9 Comments

  1. Sean Peters:

    This is my bothering dilema, I do very little, I judge others for doing little, I fail to inspire others to do anything, and can’t find a reason apart from selfish laziness, and a measure of fear. Sometimes I think it’s as simple as Spurgeon put it, “Do Something Do Something Do Something” Don’t analyze all ministry or over complicate it, Just do it. Now it’s time to take my own advise.

    • I know what you mean pops. Even as I am writing this, I am struggling myself with this. I decided I would no longer plan how I was going to go visit the neighbor and replace it with just simply doing it. It is so much easier to just go knock on their door. I saw on a TV show recently a quote by Wayne Gretzky that I think applies to what you are saying. “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” This is risky business.

  2. Sean Peters:

    Great quote! change to, 100% of the people we don’t share with, don’t experience the love of God, or, Don’t hear the gospel, or, still have a wrong view of Christ and who He is. etc.

  3. Vanessa:

    I so agree with your statement that there is no balance. What there is is harmony. Whichever note is stronger at any given time is creating a melody, but the other notes in the chord are still there providing a beautiful harmony. Sometimes the melody is showing special love for God. Sometimes it is loving your neighbor. Sometimes it’s something behind the scenes that God has given you to do. And so on. But the other notes are still there creating a beautiful harmony.

    • Wow, great way of explaining that! I am going to steal that and use it in the future :)

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      • Viiiel Arbeit. Seufz. Aber nur mit guten Texten kommt man eben weiter. Robots denken immer menschlicher mit dem Ziel: Was dem Menschen gefällt, gefällt auch dem Robot.

      • Stii ce inseamna ca nu ma intereseaza? De multe ori m-am prins in ipostaza celor care hulesc revistele de scandal, dar dimineata le deschideau primele.Ca le priveam cu un ochi critic, etc, nu are importanta. Pentru mine Patricia Kaas e atat de mare,ca nimic nu o poate cobori de acolo de sus, unde am pus-o. Tie, felicitari din nou, ca esti tare!

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