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.”
How can we repair a culture gone bad, who can end this era of violence and shame? Surely there is some leader, some elite and powerful guru who can heal us. Seems simple doesn’t it. However, I believe that in our culture – indeed, in our world, we have a “love” problem. You might think, “But we do love ourselves,” right? No, I don’t think so. If we did love ourselves, how could we have allowed so many, many things to go so very, very wrong?
We have weaved a tangled web for ourselves and our children. We really don’t love ourselves very much because we realize how futile we really are for ourselves. We believe, in fact, some actually teach that we are in control of our very lives. We have been led to believe that where there is a problem all it takes is one of us taking control of that problem and solving it! Well, think of the pandemic here – how did that work out for us? We are powerless to control or fix or heal anything. But there is one who can. And He’s the one who spoke those words I quoted above.
Loving our neighbor as ourselves is the ethic that enables a democracy to thrive. We cannot make enough laws and hire enough police officers to force all 331 million Americans to treat each other well. But when we love God, we will love everyone he loves—and he loves everyone. We will be a nation not just of laws but of love. And then when instead of looking to control or fix things, we take it to Him, we leave them at His feet, we will know what love really is.