Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? I am! Do you love yourself? I do. I make sure I feed myself. I make sure I do things I want to do. I make sure I am safe from harm. I make sure I am warm. I make sure I am in control of things. I make every effort to make sure I’m good.
If you can come to grips with your self-love you are ½ way to the secret of the 10 Commands ...... spread that love around! Use the energy we have to protect and provide for ourselves to take care of others. Make sure we do things for others. To protect others. To provide for others. As such, we will:
1. Honor our parents
2. Not hate others (murder)
3. Not take advantage of someone else’s spouse (adultery)
4. Not steal someone’s money, time, reputation or blessing
5. Not lie
6. Not be jealous of our neighbors
Jesus sums up the 10 Commands with the now famous phrase, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Read: Deuteronomy 5:6, 16-21; Mark 12:28-31
6 “I am the LORD your God, who rescued you from the land of Egypt, the place of your slavery.
16 “Honor your father and mother, as the LORD your God commanded you. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
17 “You must not murder.
18 “You must not commit adultery.
19 “You must not steal.
20 “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor.
21 “You must not covet your neighbor’s wife. You must not covet your neighbor’s house or land, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.
28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. 30 And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
New Living Translation
Our last group of devos on the 10 Commandments dealt with the “second tablet of the Law” or the last 6 commands. These commands are all about our horizontal relationships with others. The first 4 commands were all about our vertical relationship with God.
When Jesus was asked to pick his favorite command he didn’t! He avoided the temptation to choose one over the other! That is instructive for us that have memorized John 3:16 but have no clue what John 3:17 says! Instead, he summarizes the message of the 10 commands into 1 driving model: LOVE. Really it is love in 2 directions, love toward God (vertical) and love toward others (horizontal – Mk. 12:30-31).
In other words, the entire deal is about loving God and loving others. We are commanded to love others the same way we love ourselves. Jesus realized that we have a propensity to look after our own interests. He knew the human heart was empowered by love of self. He commanded us to direct that love toward others. We are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. That’s a lot of love.
Who does this include? Everyone! Friends, neighbors, wives, husbands, kids, co-workers, pastors, fellow Christians, enemies …. everyone! What kind of love? Agape love, sacrificial love ... the kind of love that allowed Jesus to be crucified on the cross!
We will know that we have passed from death to life if we love one another in this way. We prove that we are obeying the first command to love God (whom we cannot see) if we love others whom we can see.
Mirror, mirror on the wall……….
Some people are more naturally “others oriented”. Some are more self-focused. Which are you? How does it show by how you treat others?
Someone once said the secret to JOY is in the ordering of my life: Jesus Others You. Who’s first in your life? Is it Jesus? Who’s second? Is it others?
Can you think of someone that needs you today? Are you willing to go out of your way to love them?
Next time you stand in the mirror, change the question: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who can I make fairest of all?” Do that and find JOY today!
DevoLink: Devotions to help you Link with God.