Who Do You Love?

Copyright 2015 by Joel R. Hall – All rights reserved.

The most important question in all of creation is, “Who do you love?”

Yeshua made it abundantly clear: “God is Love”, “Love each other”, “Love your enemies”. He meant it. He really meant it. So much so, that he made it a command: “This is my command: Love each other.” So much so, that he made it the watermark of following him: “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love…” So much so, that, when asked which command was the greatest, he said something that, to the ears of his contemporaries, sounded outrageous:

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

And he didn’t leave any room for interpretation about who his followers were to love: EVERYONE. Not just your family. Not just your friends. Not just your countrymen. Not just your race. Not just your religion. EVERYONE. Even, and perhaps especially, your enemies.

So here is the question above all questions. Who do you love?

If you say you love the Eternal, but do not love his children, then you not only do not love the Eternal, but truly do not even know him. He IS love. As such, He loves everyone. He loves all his children. He loves Mother Teresa… and he also loves Adolf Hitler. He loves George Washington… and he also loves Josef Stalin. He loves Moishe… and he also loves Osama bin Laden. He even loves George W. Bush and Barrack Obama. Heck, he even loves Rush Limbaugh and Donald Trump.

Do you love illegal immigrants? Do you love Muslims? Jews? Blacks? Hippies? Red necks? Rich? Poor? Queen Elizabeth? Welfare queens? Communists? Kim Jong-un? Charles Manson? Little Honey Boo-boo? Josh Dugger? Bill Cosby? Caitlyn Jenner? Gays? Drug dealers? Rapists? Human traffickers? Slave owners? Thieves? Murderers? Polygamists? The homeless? Members of ISIS? Pedophiles? Prostitutes? Conservatives? Liberals?

WHO do you LOVE?

It is the only question that matters. When I was stripped of my physical self and stood naked within the ocean of light that is our lord, that was the only thing that mattered. And in that state of absolute nakedness – spiritual nakedness – it was impossible to lie. My life was the answer; the answer was my true name, and that name was laid bare before all.

In that place, where communication is pure and absolute, where there is not even the possibility of ambiguity, where your name, your true name, the very essence of your being, is open for all to see, hear, smell, taste, touch… experience… in that place, who you love is who you are. That identity is the identity you forge every moment of your physical life. You quite literally write your own essential, eternal name by who, during this life, you choose to love… and who you choose to judge.

Judge? Shouldn’t that read “hate” or “choose not to love”? No, judge is correct. True love, agape love, can only come from the Eternal as a result of loving him. The very act of opening ourselves completely to him in love is the very thing that enables his love to flow through us. But, in order to love him, I must know and trust him as sovereign, as the Creator, and as the only one able to justly judge. For me to choose to believe that I have the right to judge, I have to think myself equal with God, but, the moment I make that choice, I terminate my love for him. If I love the Eternal, I can only ever love his children without judgement. To presume, even for an instant, to judge is to forget who is God and who is not. (Hint: it’s not me.)

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that in order to love others I have to agree with their choices. Not at all. I simply have to choose to love them in spite of their choices, trusting the Eternal to deal with them justly just as he deals with me justly; just as he loves me in spite of my choices. Neither is it true that loving others without judgement requires accepting their actions without opposition. In many cases, loving requires opposition. A loving response to Hitler was to prevent him from killing the innocent.

Love is not simple, but it is worthwhile. It is the most worthwhile thing there is. It defines you. It refines you. It determines your name.

And so, I ask you again, hoping and praying with all my soul that you think long and hard about the answer: who do you love?

Copyright 2015 by Joel R. Hall – All rights reserved.

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About Joel Hall

Onward through the fog!
This entry was posted in Musings on the Bible, Relationships, Spiritual Living and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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