Jesus replied to a simple question, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Pretty simple. Love God. Love others.
Loving God looks like a lot of different things. Really? Yes. Curious? Check out my post on Gary Thomas’ Sacred Pathways.
Loving others? Well, in that I am a work in progress. So are you. How do I relate to people? What does love look like?
Wes Stafford, former president of Compassion International is known for asking the somewhat intrusive question, “What is the opposite of poverty?” The replies come, slowly and with great hesitation, questions more than replies: $1,000,000, being able to pay cash for a car, no a house, riches, having a 401k, being the in the top 1%, living in America, being middle class.
“Enough.” Wes offers that the opposite of poverty is enough.
Similarly, The Lumineers in their song Stubborn Love propose a theory, “The opposite of love’s indifference.” What is the opposite of poverty? Not riches, but enough. What is the opposite of love? Not hate, but indifference. You find indifference lurking somewhere between tolerating and accepting. It it is ugly and it is real.
I offer you this scale. We all know what hate looks like, and it is easy to see it in the bottom three. Not hating is not enough. Somewhere in the shadows of our hearts lies indifference and it betrays us and the ones we are commanded to love.
In which direction does your heart lean toward your neighbor today? Are you willing to settle for indifference?