Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Late Night Thoughts

“God is love, and the ability to love is inborn in every living creature, most especially in human beings. It is only right therefore that the Lover who has given us life and love itself should also receive love from us. God’s love is creative and selfless, giving itself for the joy and benefit of creation. If we do not love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength and if we do not love others freely and selflessly, then the love within us loses its diving character and turns to selfishness. Love then becomes a curse. Ironically, those who are selfish end up destroying themselves.”

- Sundar Singh

Recently I have contemplated, prayed about, and meditated on the greatest commandments that Jesus gives us in Mark 12:28-31. Whatever seems to be going on in my life or in this world I always go back to this verse. I am not a religious scholar by any means, nor have I been a follower of Christ for a very long time, but I seem to believe that this is one of the most important pieces of wisdom and direction that Jesus gives us. He commands us to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” and to “Love your neighbor as yourself”. But what exactly does this mean? If we are to love the Lord than love is a wonderful thing but, it is not something I think we can ever fully comprehend because the love the Lord gives us is perfect, however, because the Lord wants us to love him with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, than we must show our neighbors all the compassion and caring that we can fathom. True, we could never equal the love that God has for us, but I think he wants us to try.

I like what Sundar Singh has to say because he talks about how if we do not love freely and selflessly our “love” will turn into selfishness. I know I am guilty of that. I think we all are. I know it is so hard to remember that no one is perfect and that we may not get along or agree with everyone we meet (what a horrible place it would be if we did agree with everyone we met, we would have no free will). However, despite our differences we cannot forget about this wonderful gift and hefty commandment of love that God instructs us about. I do not see this as one of those things we can shove aside or remember later. It seems to me that these commandments of love should be central to our every day lives, central to our worship, central to our work and relationships. I think the words from the Bible sum it up best that “there is no commandment greater than these”.

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