When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, he actually gave them two. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:36-40
Jesus takes these commands from the Law. Love God from Deuteronomy 6:5 and Love Others from Leviticus 19:18. These weren't new commandments given by Jesus. They were from thousands of years of following the law. However, it seems as though from our New Testament writers that the religious of the time were more concerned with all the laws that were suppose to lead you to loving God, rather than actually loving Him. And the law of loving others was seemingly unpracticed.
Aren't you glad things have changed since Jesus has come?!
Sarcasm and snark doesn't always read well.
I have been in ministry over 20 years and the most criticism I receive is from Christians, usually ones at my own congregation. The most respect and praise I receive is from total strangers, some who are agnostic and even atheist. Why is that? I wish I knew.
Maybe we are like the Pharisees of Jesus' day and more concerned with all of the elements that would lead us to love God instead of actually loving God. Maybe we decide to not practice loving our neighbors. If any of those two sentences is true, then shame on us!
Paul understood this too,
"You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." -Galatians 5:13-15
What a challenge to Christians then and today. Love God, Love others because if we nibble and bite with criticism, slander, gossip, and judgment WE WILL DEVOUR one another and all the world will see is that the "world" that we have called evil, has more love than we can muster for them or each other.
Here are some things to think about:
1. Talk TO one another rather than ABOUT one another
2. Your preferences not being met, doesn't equal a wrong being made
3. The Spirit is not leading you to hate ANYONE!
4. It is within your ability to express yourself without defaming someone else
5. EVERYONE is God's creation and deserves your love
6. If you can't love ALL PEOPLE, you can't really love God
7. Someone else's sin is not a confirmation for your rant or hatred
There is more to be said on this subject. I will be saying more on this subject, But until then read what God says on the subject. Start with the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).
People need love...
...And Christians need to Love God and Love Others...
...It is what we are commanded to do!