Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What's Most Important

Spirit & Truth # 296
“What’s Most Important
By Greg Smith

            Our recent political candidates build their platforms on a great array of issues.  Important topics like healthcare, defense, taxation, jobs and the economy, abortion, education, and international policies head the list of those things that are important to voters.  On Tuesday, America voted to elect the candidate that it felt best represented national interests, and offered the best policies.  Now that the election is over, let’s move past the politics and talk about what’s most important.  Let’s get past the important debates and get to the things that are the most important.
            In Mark chapter 12, a teacher of the law came to Jesus, wanting to get past all the many issues of his religion and of their current political situation.  He wanted to know what was most important—which of the commandments would carry the people into God’s blessing.  “’The most important one,’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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: Love your neighbor as yourself.  There is no commandment greater than these.’”
            In a neck-and-neck election, it’s easy to sling mud and throw a few stones while you’re at it.  It’s easy to let political differences get in the way of what’s really important—Love!  Love is the greatest commandment.  All the policies in the world can’t save your soul if you lack the love of God and neighbor. 
            In her county gospel song, “If You Don’t Love Your Neighbor, Then You Don’t Love God,” Rhonda Vincent says:
There are many people who will say they're Christians
And they live like Christians on the Sabbath day
But come Monday morning 'til the coming Sunday
They will fight their neighbour all along the way

Oh you don't love God if you don't love your neighbour
If you gossip about him, if you never have mercy
If he gets into trouble and you don't try to help him
Then you don't love your neighbour and you don't love God

There's a God almighty, and you've got to love him
If you want salvation and a home on high
If you say you love him while you hate your neighbor
Then you don't have religion, you just told a lie

            Jesus knew that while the teachers of the law believed in God with their heads, they didn’t love God with all their hearts.  If they had loved God, then they would also love their neighbor.  Lack of love for neighbor indicates lack of love for God. 
            It’s easy to let issues that we think are important get in the way of what’s most important.  Don’t let your politics impede your love.  Whether your candidate won or lost—one way or another, the issue is already decided.  Now is the time to do what’s most important.  Love God.  Love your neighbor.  Live at peace with both.

No comments: