Wednesday, October 11, 2006

refresher on "the Jesus Creed"

29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (Mark 12; TNIV)

I have found, and am finding my recitation of this passage as a reminder, to be a helpful check and directive for me during the day and days, as I work with other people in process, like me, who still sin and fall short of God's standard for us in Christ.

This is a needed reminder that it's all about love. Loving God with all our being and doing. And loving our neighbor as ourselves. This helps us hang in there, by faith, to receive God's grace to forgive those who sin against us (so that, in the words of our Lord, we too may be forgiven by our Father in heaven).

Of course love for God is the formative foundation to this all. This is in response to his love for us in Christ, truly both this act and our reception of it, only through and because of his grace to us in Christ Jesus (reminds me of Paul, always saying and echoing the words, it seems, "in Christ Jesus"). This helps us see life as what it's meant to be: a life of worship in the giving of ourselves as a living sacrifice, through the mercies of God.

How this recently worked for me. Someone recently spoke sharply and irritatingly to me over a simple work question I asked them. I was jolted, and not happy, but said nothing. I was reminded as I thought on this, of one of the scriptures calling us to forgive whatever grievances we may have toward another (Paul). And I was reminded to pray for this person. So I did. And I forgave. And the next day we had good fellowship as if nothing had happened the previous day. But what got me on this track, rather than an old track of perhaps reacting by confronting, and not necessarily in a gracious way, was remembering "the Jesus Creed."

Recite it during the day. It can help us hold our tongues or nonverbal reactions (hopefully to at least a minimum) to an offense, and enable us to do good to the one offending us. Even if it does include a word spoken to them in love.

God, let your love inform and form all we do, more and more, each day. May "the Jesus Creed" truly be our creed more and more. To your glory. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


L.L. Barkat said...

forgiveness... so hard, especially for those of us who love words and remember them perfectly, tirelessly... our blessing is our bane when the words are harsh or hurtful

Ted Gossard said...


So true. And those of us who love words also usually have a propensity to say alot, which itself can be very dangerous here. I'm reminded of the directive: Let your speech be always full of grace, seasoned with salt... (Paul)

Ted Gossard said...

also the directive, Be slow to speak and swift to listen (James), as well the directive, Be slow to anger, for people's anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires.

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, yes... sigh.

Ted Gossard said...


Me too.