If you could ask Jesus what was the most important thing to do, what do you think He’d say? What do you think he’d tell you is the most important thing for us to do as Christians? Lots of choices, lots of options, huh? Lots of things that He could say.
Well, you know what? That scenario happened in scripture. We actually know what He’d say. Listen to what happened in Mark 12: 28-31:
28 One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, ‘Which commandment is the first of all?’ 29Jesus answered, ‘The first is, “Hear, O Israel:the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”31The second is this, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these.’
There were a lot of things that Jesus could say, lots of places that Jesus could go. And what did He say?
Love the Lord with all your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength. In other words, love God with all that you are. Love God with every fiber of your being. With your intellect. With your emotions. With your body. With everything. Love God with every inch of who you are.
But that’s not all He tells us. Love your neighbor as you love yourself. So there, we see two more loves. Love your neighbor. And of course, we’ve seen Jesus tell us that this doesn’t mean our physical neighbor alone, but it means all the folks we come in contact with.
Love. As Christians, we are called to love. We have to love the people we come in contact with. We have to show them that love. It’s our command as Christians. Love.
But, there is another love. As you love yourself. You matter. You are important. God loves you. That means you are to love yourself. Stop beating yourself up. God believes in you. You believe in you. You are His precious and His beloved. And honestly, you can’t fully love your neighbor, until you love yourself.
CS Lewis said, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
We are called not just to love God, love our neighbor, but love ourselves too. Because God does.
So, we see what mattered to Jesus. And we see what should matter to us. Today, may we live out that love towards God, others, and ourselves, that He has called us to!
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