James A. Washington

It is not always through guile and deceit that the devil works his evil. He can accomplish his goals if he can convince you that what is very important is of little matter and no consequence. This love thing is pretty well documented throughout the Bible and Christ certainly clarifies its importance in the above passage. Remember this is the Son of God talking.

The single most important thing I can do to abide in God’s will is to possess love in my heart for God and my fellow man. That’s it? Yeah. That’s it!

If that’s as close to a guarantee as we can get, why are many of us hell bent on doing the things that will insure our place at the table in hell’s kitchen? I personally think the concept of loving God is pretty easy to comprehend. It’s the loving your neighbor as yourself that’s causing the problem. The devil is having a field day on this one.

Count how many people you can’t stand at this very moment. The devil has us so confused and dumbfounded on this issue that we can’t see that the hatred we harbor for others, the contempt we feel for people we don’t even know, masks an underlying reality that won’t allow us to love our neighbor.

In actuality, we hate ourselves. You see the devil has tricked us into hating the mirror image of us. Deep down inside we hate in others that which we might become, because we really don’t like what we have become.

The devil knows man is not perfect so he entices us into hating the imperfection of others, their flaws and faults, their weaknesses and shortcomings. All the while, being imperfect ourselves, insures that we cannot live up to the greatest commandment of loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Isn’t it interesting that most people who claim being saved tell you they first had to realize that God through Jesus’ sacrifice loved them warts and all? The stories come from former drug addicts, adulterers, petty gossips, murderers and greedy, self-absorbed takers in life, who wished they knew how to have a healthy respectful loving relationship with another human being.

One by one, they line up and confess that once we accepted that God indeed loves us, then and only then, are we able to love ourselves and subsequently love others just like they are: all imperfect, all flawed children of God, all welcomed at His eternal table. At this point one sees God in every man, every woman and every child, because once you accept that God resides in your own sinful soul, you can see God in others.

God knew you before you knew you. And He loved you anyway in spite of what He knew you were going to do. As incredible as that sounds, it’s true. It’s called love.

God’s point is so simple. If He’s got it for you, the least you can do is have it for others. Step back, Satan.

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