Nina hadn’t been to church for a long time. In fact, it must have been over a year when she last attended the Sunday service at the local church. She was feeling low without any particular reason. She found her self watching movie after movie, reading book after book. It was as if she wanted to escape life. She had arguments with her family and loved ones, avoided her friends and the list of “not right” things went on. On Saturday, when she checked her mobile phone, she had received three calls from Su in Dubai. Nina texted back saying “Sorry I wasn’t near the phone. Was having lunch with my husband”. Su replied right back, “Thanks for this reply for all my missed calls for the last several months”. Sunday, Nina made porridge (her first). She got hurt at her husband’s comments on how salty the porridge was and an argument followed with Nina angrily throwing away the rest of the porridge. Then, she went to church.
Mark 12: 28 – 31 [NKJV]: 28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” 29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – Verses taken from http://www.biblegateway.com
The greatest commands deal with love:
- Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
- Love your neighbor as yourself.
Today, the church sermon was about this verse. The priest’s explanation gave me new insight in to the verse that I had not seen before. According to what I learnt today, loving God involves my heart, my soul, my mind and my strength, and loving others involve loving myself.
How do I love God this way?
- Heart – you love God with a passion that filters through to everything your heart feels for: your family, your loved ones, interests you love (reading, movies, music), causes that you fight for
- Soul – you love God with everything you are! If you’re a fun-loving extrovert you love God using that. If you’re serious, you love God using that. If you’re a shy introvert, you love God using that. You love God by being who you truly are, with everything you are!
- Mind – Mind is intellectual. Means your studies, about things you know. Loving God with your mind means you read, study and find out about God so that you “know” Him.
- Strength – God and your relationship is not something that is only internal. It is about your entire life. Your love for God, you loving God through your heart, soul and mind must be then put in to practice where everything you feel for God, who you are for God, what you learn about God, is seen, heard, externalized in to your daily living, wherever you are, whoever you are with, whatever you are doing.
Then comes loving others as you love yourself. Note: you cannot love others until you truly love yourself. How do you love yourself?
- Appreciate yourself
- Don’t talk down about yourself
- Forgive yourself
- Do nice things for yourself
- Take care of yourself: mind & body, heart & soul
When I love God, and I love myself, I’m ready to love others. How do I love others? Same way I love myself.
- Appreciate others
- Don’t talk down about others
- Forgive others
- Do nice things for others
- Take care of others: mind & body, heart & soul
Going through this I realize that Jesus taught us how to rank the priorities in our life:
- Others (family, friends, relatives, colleagues, and everyone we deal with in our daily lives for even the smallest thing)
Knowing doesn’t mean it gets any easier. Right now, I’m struggling loving all 3 aspects in my life: God, myself, and others.
I know I hurt You. I also know that I hurt myself by the self-destructive behaviors. I hurt the people I love. I’m deeply sorry about that. Please help me to focus on these 3 things I learnt today: how to love You, myself and others (in that order), knowing that as I do my part You will do yours. Father, while I struggle, give patience to those who love me. I know that it is not easy to love me, with all my imperfections. Give them joy and may love fill their lives, most importantly Your love. I ask this in the name of Jesus Your Son, my Lord and my Savior.