Mark 12: 28-31  One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered,“The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 

This is the first filter that everything we do, say, or believe, must be put though. Jesus connected these two commands. It’s not one or the other, it’s both.  It’s impossible to justify standing on a soap box preaching condemnation as a way of loving God or others. I’ve heard it said that we should love people but hate sin. The problem is, people and sin are inseparable. 

Loving people is accepting them – all of them, even their sin. Loving ourselves is understanding that we are sinners – not were sinners – we are sinners.  It doesn’t matter how you define ‘sin’; call it sin, shortcomings, failures, issues; we all have them. This is no surprise to God. We are all equal in God’s eyes and He loves us anyway. Truth be told, it’s in our DNA; we can’t not sin and God loves us.

We can only truly love others when we  accept ourselves, our shortcomings, our failures, our sin.  We fail – God loves. We screw up – God loves. We sin – God loves. Love God with your entire being, accept the fact that we are all sinners – all of us – and begin loving others as your equal.

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