LESSON #2 – YOU HAVE TO LOVE JESUS MORE THAN YOU LOVE PEOPLE.
I’ve heard it said that you cannot love God without loving people. I couldn’t disagree more. I don’t believe you can love people unless you love God, more accurately, unless you know God’s love as seen in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. There is a reason why Jesus said the greatest and first commandment was to “Love God”. If we love anything BUT God as first and foremost, we commit idolatry. We are creatures of worship who replace our “first love” with things like sex and alchohol. But we also worship our spouses, our children, or some other relationship. When those relationships begin to give us meaning, hope, purpose, and joy more than our relationship with God, there is a problem.
It is important to love others, but it is secondary to loving God as Jesus taught. Loving Jesus more than loving people means that you’ll actually be able to love people the way they are supposed to be loved. If we get the commandments mixed up, we’ll start down the fast track to making decisions based on the approval or disapproval of men–or whether or not we’re accepting, affirming, or loved. If our primary concern is to love people, then we’ll often compromise the truth, or remain silent, when what we think or say is perceived as “unloving”. Our goal is not to gather as many relationships as we can in order to be loving, rather, to expose all of our relationships to the love of God. In truth, all of our relationships are healthiest and right when we love Jesus more than any of them. My bride, my children, my extended family, my friends, my church, and my community need me to love Jesus–to obey Jesus–so that I love them rightly to the glory of God.