Friday, August 19, 2016

first

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)



First and second.  The order is important.  If we get it backwards everything goes haywire, but maybe not at first.  Most often it is a slow, subtle slide.  When we are not putting the first love first we start expecting and demanding way more out of the people and things in our world than they were ever intended—or are able—to give.  Then, instead of loving them, we start extorting love out of them.  We become demanding and controlling and manipulative, and that is not love.  They are actually the warning signs that we have our affections out of order.  For the second love can be only a reflection of the first.

O Lord, my God, help me to love you first: before my loved ones, before my friends, before my job, before my ministry, before my achievements, before my circumstances, before my comfort, before my needs, and before myself.  For only then can I love the way you designed me to love.  Amen.

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