Love God

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Before we talk about the 10 Commandments, let’s summarize all of the commandments ever given by God into the Two Great Commandments.

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,

Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, 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. (link)

The First Great Commandment is this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.

Now, Atheists and humanists are rolling their eyes. “Why should I love an imaginary being? Why this God and not some other?”

I want to point out to my Atheist and humanist readers that they do have a God, and that God is more similar to my God than you think.

Let me put it this way: Do you believe in Truth, Logic and Reason? Do you believe in Intelligence and Wisdom? These are all attributes of my God. In fact, He is the very definition of these things. That is, whatever is the ultimate truth, the ultimate logic, the ultimate reason, the ultimate intelligence, and the ultimate wisdom, that is my God.

But let’s add some more attributes: Mercy, Compassion, Justice, Virtue, Love, Temperance, Patience, Kindness, and so on and so forth. I am sure you can write a hundred attributes you would like to have because you believe they are good. Those are all attributes my God possesses in the extreme.

If these are attributes you’d like to have, then you need to worship them the same way I worship my God. No, rather than worship them, love them. Love them with your whole heart. Leave no room for anything but these attributes. Let them consume you. Let nothing in this world or any other world put itself between you and these attributes.

Remember Benjamin Franklin. He was a patriot and a Founding Father who tried probably harder than anyone else in recorded history to scientifically refine his character to adopt these attributes. He kept a daily log of the various attributes he wanted to obtain and graded himself based on how well he did. We would not do wrong to do the same.

I imagine if we, as a society, strictly adhered to this First Great Commandment, we would all do much better.

Do we love money? Shouldn’t we love instead Industry, Charity, Security, and Peace?

Do we love worldly possessions? Shouldn’t we love instead Truth, Wisdom, Love, and Trust?

Do we love individuals in this world? Shouldn’t we instead love Compassion, Long-Suffering, Justice, and Forgiveness?

What Jesus taught, and ultimately, what Christianity and Judaism is really all about, is changing ourselves to be the ideal human. It’s an inward journey to explore who we really are, and to find things in this universe that can make us better than we were before. Jesus’ teaching about on what we should place our hearts speaks volumes about where our central focus should be.

Our goal isn’t to see others conform to our world view, but instead, to first find the pure joy and happiness that only true religion can bring, and share that with our friends and neighbors out of sincere love and devotion.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about the Second Great Commandment.

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