July 25, 2012 in Simple Religion
A while ago I wrote about Minimalist Christianity. I wrote about all we needed to have and to focus on. Building on that today I want to write about all we need to do in this world – love.
This is something I can know in my head but my personality really struggles with it. I am an action person, a results person, a tangible person, but God has been showing me in a bunch of different ways that this focus is wrong. Not only wrong, but it is tiring, takes me from what is important, and (contrary to intent) it is ineffective.
Our focus should be that of Christ’s – to love people.
(want to tweet that?) As a wannabe minimalist I find it very easy to come up with tips for better marriages, parenting, homeschooling, service, church organization and more. However I have been trying to use minimalism in all areas and it does a wonderful job at figuring out what is most important.
Steps, process, organization, materials, or plans are useless without love in every area of my life. (period!)
I have to write it out and bold it to help get my mind around it. I know it, but it is so much harder to live it.
This song has been a favorite of my husband and I in the past few months because it so clearly states it.
(here is the youtube link)
It is the message of 1st Corintians 13 put to beautiful music. This text is super clear. It calls out all the great actions like prophecy or giving to the poor, it even throws out being a martyr, and makes it painfully clear that these aren’t the things that matter.
This beautifully and simply fits into what Christ said when he was asked about the greatest commandment. (Matthew 22:34-40)
- First and most important – love, follow, serve, respect God
- Second love everyone else (everyone else in the world is our neighbor). Respect them and have compassion for them.
That is it. When asked what the most important thing was Jesus listed 2 things. That is a minimalist to-do list
So whatever you are doing today, whoever you are interacting with or run into, as a Christian you have one primary goal. If nothing else goes right or you don’t accomplish what you wanted the day is a success if you showed love.
Love Has No Requirements
Every person fits into the category of someone we should show love to…no matter who they are or what they have done. Loving someone doesn’t mean I agree with them, dress like them, think like them, understand them, know them, or even like them.
Not A Christian?
If you are not a Christian I want to take a second to say that this is what Christianity is all about. You may have run into someone who calls themself a Christian but ruined it for you when they were not acting as a Christian.
God loves and accepts us all where we are but the process of God changing us takes time and we are so far from the perfect ideal. There are no requirements or an entry test to become a Christian. Wanting to follow God and accepting His gift is all there is. This is the blessing of grace. At the same time it is often what gives people the wrong impression about who Christ is. A Christian will never perfectly display the love of Christ to the world and often will fall very far from it.
If you know nothing else about the religion Christianity, please know that Love is the beginning, the middle, the end, and the root.
I also wanted to add that Christianity is a personal thing. I think religion and organization is both biblical and beneficial but it doesn’t make a Christian. Only a relationship with Christ makes a Christian. And, good or bad, this is the test of being a Christian instead of just having a name or membership somewhere. ”By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13:25 and a bunch more places in the bible as well.
This is not a new idea, but I have been struggling with actually making these top priorities in my life. It helps to write, post, and organize my thoughts. Today I posted mostly for myself. I hope it helps you too
I enjoyed this post about this same issue over on Danoah.com.
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