Thursday, March 17, 2011

It All Comes Down To This

Growing up in our family we had only one rule: Love, honor, and respect your mother. That was it. My stepdad was pretty darned clear about that with us kids. And when it boiled down to it - it's amazing how many things that a child/teenager does wrong can fall into this category. Skip class? You weren't respecting the hard work your mother does to provide you the opportunity to go to school. Fight with siblings? You were breaking Mom's heart. Talk back? Well, that's not loving & respecting Mom, is it? It hurts her when you talk to her like that.

Above all else, we had to love Mom. At the end of the day that was easy because Mom's awesome. She's loving, she's fun, she's genuine, and she's full of grace for her kids.  And believe me when I tell you we've each screwed up pretty well and don't deserve the grace she gives us sometimes.

Me & my mom - getting pedicures together - Fall 2010

Today I was reading Matthew 22:37-40, and you see Jesus essentially giving us the same instruction about our relationship with God as my stepdad gave us for our relationship with our mom (which... I guess I should thank my parents for some sort of life lesson here...):

Jesus replied, “'You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)

Greatest command of all the commands? Love God with your everything. Without abandon. With your heart, soul, mind, & strength - Love God. Second? Love each other, presumably in as close to the same fashion as possible. We're created in God's image - each of us - so I think that in order to show God our love, we MUST love each other. It's a very tangible way to arrive at fulfilling the first greatest command.

And when you think about it - when Jesus says that the "entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments" - it makes a ton of sense. If we're loving God first and loving each other second, we will choose actions, words, and deeds that will esteem these two things. The rest will fall in place. We are called to LOVE - if we strive towards LOVE in all that we do - if we put God and loving God first - imagine what the world would be like.

Imagine what our relationship with God could be like.

I know that when I let go and loved, honored, and respected my mom - she became one of my best friends. If we do the same with God - love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, & strength - and love others without abandon... imagine what could happen.


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