The two greatest commands – love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself, seem pretty straight forward. Oh, is that all I have to do, we may think. I’ll figure this out in a day or two then I’ll move on to the “hard stuff.”
Rude awakening, we can go an entire lifetime and not achieve both…. or even one. My mind gets it but every effort to do either seems to be completely impossible in my own strength!
The presence of sin in my heart and in this world taints everything.
Even my best intentions, I realize, somehow are rooted in my own pride and selfishness. Without God’s constant intervention, I have no chance of loving Him or people well at all. The Good News is that He did intervene in sending His Son to die in our place, for our sin. So, now there is a way to truly love God and others as long as it’s through Him.
Our sermon at church yesterday ties into this subject. I don’t see life as it really is. I see life through this distorted “me “lens. It colors everything, and not for the better. What looks right to me is everyone living life my way. And to you, living life your way seems right. We all assume we are the center of the universe and everyone and everything was made to make me happy. Either I continue viewing life through that “me” lens, or I willingly give it to God and accept His perspective instead.
Slight problem…um, I really still prefer my lens. My mind, again, tells me God’s way is better but I don’t naturally like anything about it. The colors seem off. It’s blurry and gives me a headache. It will take my whole life to appreciate God’s perspective and ways as I should! It’s a purposeful choice to give God our naturally distorted “me” lens to Him permanently.
It’s true, with God’s lens before me, I strain to make out things. I get headaches. Sure, what I have managed to see is amazing, but will it ever feel right, be clear, be my lens of choice? The answer is yes – when I choose to see life through God’s lens all the time, I do begin to get used to it and eventually prefer it! I must choose to permanently give God my rights to those old distorted lenses of mine. But, then the real transition can be made, when I’m done switching back and forth and making myself sick doing so. God works in and through us to accomplish His two primary commands, to love Him first, and love others next. Without God’s help, we would have no hope of doing either.