37 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.
38 This is the great and first commandment.
39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. - Matthew 22:37-40
As if loving our God with all of our emotions, with all of our passions and desires, and with all of our intellectual abilities isn’t not challenging enough, the second commandment pushes us even further. Love your neighbor as yourself.
So, exactly what does this mean? I love myself by taking care of my needs and thinking about myself all the time - from what I want to eat for breakfast to how I will exercise my body. I plan my schedule around what I need and want to do today, I think about my feelings, and make choices that please me or validate me. I take into consideration all my experiences when making decisions - from my past hurts to my challenging day, and I choose what feels best to me. I spend a great deal of time thinking about me. So when Jesus calls us to love others as we love ourselves, that’s a pretty challenging command. I don’t think about anyone as much as I think about myself. My heart is inherently selfish. This is not referring to just doing something kind for others - this is challenging us to do that thing for others that rubs right up against what we want to do. It’s not just handing over the remote to our husbands and letting them choose the channel tonight, it’s remaining humble and understanding their difficult day when they come home from work snapping at us. On my own, it’s impossible to consistently put others’ needs before my own - the majority of the time, I don’t even understand the other person’s needs on my own, much less prioritizing them over mine.
There is no mistake that God’s first commandment is to love Him with all our heart, soul, and mind. When we place Him first, and we focus all of our energy on loving Him, He transforms our selfish heart into a tender and sacrificial heart capable of loving others. When we place Him first, we no longer need to seek validation from others, we no longer need others to be kind or loving toward us in order for us to love them. He is enough for us. He fills us up so that we can pour out His selfless love to others.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
Popular posts from this blog
I am a believer in Christ, and I have breast cancer. On August 17, 2017, I was diagnosed with an aggressive (HER2+), recurrent (hormone negative) type of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. At this point, they have not yet staged my cancer because they are waiting for the biopsy results from a suspicious spot in the second breast. The biopsy is scheduled for September 5th, with a lumpectomy to follow on September 7th. They will formally stage my cancer after they biopsy my lymph nodes, which will be taken during the surgery. It doesn't make any sense to me that I have a cancer diagnosis - I am a fairly healthy woman who runs 2 miles almost every day and eats a gluten-free, primarily paleo diet, with no family history at all. But it makes sense to God, and so here I am. Update ~ They found 4 isolated invasions during the lumpectomy. Due to the nature of my cancer (HER2+ and ER-), the recommended protocol is chemotherapy and radiation. Beginning in October, my chemotherapy regime
When we launched our new blog we had no idea if anyone would see it or be helped by it, but we knew that the LORD was prompting us to step out in faith and just do it. The response has been amazing and we are looking forward to how God will use this space for His glory. We have learned over many years of service in a variety of ministries, that God does not require human assistance to realize His plans for individuals, churches, nations, or the human race. But the story of the bible is the story of God’s will playing out through the words and actions of the His children. So…we pray, meditate on his Word, and write from the heart about the truths that mold our faith, guide our actions, and inspire our hearts and minds. Please visit the site and subscribe to continue receiving posts. https://graceinmarriage.com/ It is our sincere hope that you are blessed by our work here and welcome your input on how we can make Grace in Marriage even better. Thank you for your support.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. - Psalm 73:25-26 What believer would not want to experience the kind deep devotion to God found in these verses? This kind of loyal commitment is the desire of every person of faith....yet it eludes so many of us. If you've been a believer for long, you know there are times it does not come easy. There is a great price involved in reaching the kind of faith found in these verses. This level of commitment is only achieved through fierce struggle. The battle between Spirit and flesh is constant, but it is in the battle that we are strengthened when we choose to lean in and trust God, to turn to Him for our strength in the battle, and to keep our eyes fixed on Him despite what the world throws at us. Asaph wrote these words only after a difficult and confusing crisis of faith. He was tempted to com