“Love thy neighbor as thyself.” – Mark 12:31
Love is the greatest of God’s creations. Out of love, God made Heaven, the earth, and you. He loves you and wants you to love Him in return. However, when we sin and do evil in our hearts, it takes some of our love and our heart away from God. We no longer have the ability to focus on the Lord and the things that He holds forever dear. We are instead focused on ourselves and our sins which only can make us happy for a short time. We are left longing and being more unsatisfied than before.
Imagine that your heart is a box. You can pack that box with good things or bad things, but either way, there is only so much room in that box. The more of the wrong things you put into your heart, the less room you leave for Jesus. Your heart is made for love, but love for the right things rather than loving sin. Saint Augustine said that our hearts are restless until they rest in the Lord. How true that is! Our hearts have a need for love that only God can fill. Anything else just isn’t enough. You can’t eat enough food or buy enough things to satisfy yourself. I promise you that it doesn’t work. It isn’t what God had in mind for you when you were created. The Bible says not to focus on the passing things in life, but to keep your eyes fixed on things which are above. One day, the fast cars will rust and the money will be all spent, but what does remain are those things which are done in service of others. God’s love comes from many places, but it is the most apparent when it comes though His servants.
I met a former business man that said no matter how far up the ladder he went, the emptier he felt. While he was working on how much money he could make, his family, his friends, and his home life eventually passed him by. It was the love of the wrong things that led to his pain. This person’s problem was that he focused his love on his own greatness rather than God’s greatness. He let his desire for status get in the way of him caring for his family. He has now turned his eyes to the Lord and has found what he terms as a new lease on life. He’s reconciled with his family and is making up for lost time. He also says that he derives more fulfillment from helping out at a local children’s hospital than he ever did being a boss at a big company. We all have love, but where we put that love can mean the difference between happiness and hurt.
There’s a sign up in our home that reads, “Whatever you do today had better be important, because you are trading a day of your life for it.” You can either positively or negatively affect generations by what you focus on today. If sin rules your life, don’t expect anything positive to come from it. It may be fun for a little while, but it never lasts and you aren’t helping anyone by committing evil. Pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth; these are the so-called seven deadly sins. Notice how all of them come back to ourselves. We become ego-centric and think about our own needs rather than the needs of others, but that’s not why we were made. Ego means Edging God Out. The more your heart seeks after your own comfort and your own pleasure, the less your heart will seek out God. To truly love my wife, I have to want the highest and best thing for her, and that is Jesus Christ. I want my wife to go to Heaven. I want my kids to go to Heaven. Therefore, I must make some sacrifices to help get them there. My comfort level must be a distant second when compared to the health, safety, and eternal security of my family. Anything less is unacceptable.
All sins start with “I.” It’s a good thing to love yourself, but there is a big problem when that self-love comes between you and God’s love for us all. The devil wants you to be self-focused. If you are experiencing God’s love and showing it to other people, you are taking your soul and the souls of others away from him and handing them back to God. To get right with God and to help serve humanity, pay attention to the needs of others. Put God first, everybody else second, and yourself last. The alphabet is the only place where “I” should come before “U”. Remember that Jesus Christ wasn’t thinking of His own comfort when He died on the cross. He was only concerned with our eternal salvation. Don’t let your anxiety or comfort level get in the way of feeding a homeless person or sharing the Gospel with someone you just met. You are here for a purpose and that purpose is love. Sin is selfish, but true love means caring for others.
The love of God reaches far and wide, but the love of sin dies with that sin. True love can only be given away, not kept for yourself and the more you give, the more you shall receive.
God’s blessings to you.