Love Wins? It Depends.
This will be the first of a two-part discussion on love and truth. Almost everything I discuss, on every post from this point forward, will be greatly influenced by my perspective on these two subjects.
Love is a gift and a commandment from God. One specific love is in fact, the first and greatest of commandments.
When Jesus was asked, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” He replied,
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Why is this the greatest commandment? In order to best understand the answer to that question, it is critical that we fully understand our relationship to God.
God is our Father. It’s actually that simple and that amazing. We are literally, begotten spirit children of heavenly parents. They love us perfectly and unconditionally. Because God loves us, He wants us to be happy. Truly happy. Eternally happy.
For us to find that kind of joy and happiness, we must do one simple, but not always easy, thing. We must love Him. We must love Him enough to trust him and to obey Him. He has given us pure and simple instruction as to how we are to show our love for Him.
God gave us two very clear, very specific ways to show we love Him. Christ stated unequivocally, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Also, when asking Peter three times, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me?”, Christ’s response to each of Peter’s affirmations was simply, “feed my sheep.”
No matter how much we might claim that we love God, the truest test is in our honest response to these two questions. Am I trying to be obedient to His laws and am I willing to teach His other children to do the same?
Love, true selfless love, always requires service and sacrifice. Love for God requires the same.
God has been very clear on what our priorities must be. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
It might seem strange that God would ask us to love him even more than we love our earthly parents, given that he has also commanded that we should, “honor thy father and thy mother”.
Why should love for God come before even honoring a parent? Because God’s love is perfect. And only He can know the end from the beginning. Only he can help us become the very best version of what we are capable of becoming.
I love my children and would do anything for them. But, I cannot see what is around the next corner in this labyrinth we call life. But God does. So, while I will counsel with my children and give them my best advice… that advice should always include encouragement for them to pray and seek answers from God.
One of my favorite quotes is from the movie Rudy. When Rudy is seeking advice from a Priest, Father Cavanaugh replies, “Son, in thirty-five years of religious study, I’ve come up with only two hard, incontrovertible facts; there is a God, and, I’m not Him.”
Love of God requires faith, it requires discipline, it requires obedience, it requires courage and it requires knowledge. But, most of all it requires sacrifice. It requires the humility to submit our will to His will.
Love of God also means accepting and defending truth. Not the relative truth as defined by the world. Not the ever changing and “progressive” truth of an increasingly corrupt society. For those are not truths at all. But, real, unchanging and eternal truth.
And that will be the topic of my next post… what is truth?