Somewhere along the way of my time here in Africa, I stopped doing the one thing I came here for. The environment in which I was working began to look a lot more like questioning rules and policy, and a lot less like showing love.
I needed to let go of the “laws” that were overwhelming my days. I spent some time looking at what Jesus says in the bible about laws, and settled in on the all too familiar verses in Mark 12:28-34.
“Of all the commandments, which is the most important? The most important one, Jesus answered, is this: Love the Lord your God will all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”
My extra little bible notes tell me that at this time, the Jews had, by historical count, over 613 laws. 613 things to do, or not to do. But a list of rules isn’t what following Jesus is about.
Following Jesus is as simple as loving Him, and loving others. That’s it.
And boy do we (I) get it wrong so often. With our hypocrisy. And judgment. And actions. And our holding too tightly to rules that hurt others instead of love others. It’s a wonder anyone would want to follow God with us misrepresenting Him all the time.
But what if we started living life through the filter of “love God and love others”? Crazy thought, I know, but just hear me out. What would happen? We’d love more? People would love us more? I’d be okay with that, wouldn’t you?
Choose love, folks.