This is a little different look at the two great commandments we covered back in March.
In Mark 12:28-31, we read,
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The key word at the center of both commandments is LOVE. That is because God is love. Everything that is of God, that is a part of Him, is based in love.
We see this in 1 John 4, beginning in verse 7.
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.
So how are those two commandments Jesus gave us three? Let’s look at 1 John 4:20-21.
If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
So the first commandment Jesus gave us, “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength,” depends on the second, which is “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” How can you love God if you hate your neighbor?
But read closer. “You shall love your neighbor… as yourself.”
How can you love your neighbor, and God, if you have issues with yourself? You must love yourself first. Do you have skeletons in your closet, or something in your life, you haven’t forgiven yourself? Do you believe He has forgiven you, but you are still carrying the burden of guilt of them on yourself? Or maybe you haven’t given them up to Him yet. Either way, you are not loving yourself and are keeping yourself from loving your neighbor and God.
1 John 1:9 says
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Once you have done that, and He has forgiven you, and He has cleansed you of that unrighteousness, shouldn’t you let go of your guilt? He has made you new, as 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Forgive yourself. Let your guilt go. Love yourself so you can love your neighbor and love the Lord your God with ALL your soul and with ALL your mind and with ALL your strength!
© 2017 Marty Hill – Administered By Quaddot Productions – All Rights Reserved