In a discussion a few days ago, I was told that we are to follow the old Law, the law of the Ten Commandments. I don’t disagree with that statement, but the the answer Jesus gave takes it all and breaks it down very simply.
” ‘Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?’ 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. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.’ ” – Matthew 22:36-40 NLT
If we follow His lead here, everything, every thought, would be taken away from the enemy. There would be no cursing or gossip, no thoughts of rage or irritation at those who offends you. I’m not there yet, and my thoughts are something I work on daily. Paul wrote this to help Timothy and other Christians, including us:
“So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. ….. Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to GOD when He judges the world.” – 1 Peter 2:1, 11-12 NLT
If the followers of Christ around the world could get this part right, what an example it would be for all of those who don’t know Him! Short and sweet; that’s Jesus. If we surrender our thoughts to the Holy Spirit, and we submit our lives to the LORD, think how we could influence others. It’s difficult to keep my tongue silent and my mouth closed when I want to speak badly of someone. Gossip rolls off my tongue with ease. Why not tell a “white” lie if it benefits me? Because sin is sin in GOD’S eyes. A lie is a lie, deceit is a lie; hypocrisy, jealousy, gossip, backstabbing, rumors….. all lies, and ALL lies, no matter how large or how small or so “white” are sin. Remember Lucifer, the enemy, aka Satan, the Father of Lies? He makes it so simple, and so attractive, to skip by the truth. If we truly love our neighbor, and treated them as we want to be treated, we would never tell the tiniest lie or any unkind word. Something to note here: our neighbor includes family, friends, coworkers, classmates…. any person outside of ourselves are our neighbors.
It’s impossible to fully love anyone else if we don’t first love God, and second, love ourselves. If I don’t like me, how well do you think I’m going to like – or LOVE – anyone else? I believe that’s a pretty important distinction. Whether you follow Christ or the enemy is absolutely your choice. For your sake, I pray you will follow Christ.