Love your neighbor.
What if we did these things, in this order, at every given moment? What if there was never a time when we weren’t making this our priority? What if we realized the impact this would have on our lives and the lives of those around us?
What if our number one concern was loving God? Don’t you think we would be entirely consumed in His presence? Our thoughts of Him would never cease. Our desire to be with Him would only grow as we discovered more of His beauty. We wouldn’t be able to ignore that desire. We would dig deeper into the depths of His love, and do so passionately.
And in that depth, we would certainly understand more of who God is. We would know the things that bring Him pleasure and delight. Wouldn’t we be enthralled as we discovered what moves His heart? We would be amazed at the simple beauties that awaken His heart to His children.
In the depths of that love, wouldn’t we, knowing His love for us, long to please His heart? We would know the things that make His heart rejoice. We would, seeing what brings Him pleasure, certainly long to behave accordingly. Knowing that He loves to give us our desires, we would indubitably want to do the same for Him.
Could we deny His love for all of His children? We certainly could not. So then, knowing that our neighbors are His children, we could not deny His love for them. We could not deny His desires for them to be treated as righteous sons and daughters. We would not be able to deny the simple yet intricate beauties, that each one possesses, that so move His heart.
And if we, in the depths of His love and loving Him, long to please His heart, which is abounding in love for His children, wouldn’t our love for our neighbor flow abundantly from that place? We would see how our brother moves the heart of the one we love, and treasure him because God made him that way. If we know that God delights in the gentleness of our sister, shouldn’t we delight in that also? What reason have we, consumed in the depths of His heart, to not delight in that which brings Him joy?
So then, if we find ourselves struggling to love our neighbor, perhaps we should return to step one. In that place, it is impossible for us to deny His love for our neighbor. It is also in that place that we are reminded of the sweetness of loving that which He loves. In that intimate place, there is an undeniable desire to please His heart.
Honoring that which He loves does just that.
Love God. Love your neighbor.