The Greatest Commandment: The Tests of Love
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘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.” (Matthew 22:34-40 NIV)
The Greatest Commandment has two major teachings. First, its clear and unequivocal focus is love—not sin, damnation, submission or judgment. Secondly, the Commandment has three, not one or two components: (1) Love of Self; (2) Love of Others, (3) Love of God. All three are interactive, cross-nurturing and important to a path of fulfillment, purpose and value.
The Commandment has significant implications for life, society and the belief in a “deeper reality” however that may be individually experienced. It celebrates and supports self, others, women, science and the mind. Its commandment to love at both the human and spiritual levels is a commandment of peace, connection and understanding. By its nature, it is inclusive rather than exclusive. Love is the melting pot of all good things.
A simple first test may reveal whether a thought, action or doctrine is consistent with its core teaching of love.
(1) Is it born of love?
(2) Does it increase love?
Intent. Effect. If both conditions are met, then more likely be it true.
A second test is implied by the three components: does a statement, action or belief reflect (1) Love of Self, (2) Love of Others, (3) Love of God? A corollary test may also help guide from time to time: (1) Does it honor Self? (2) Honor Others? (3) Honor God?
Two simple tests. Love does not require a quagmire of doctrine.
This site is an extension of A Faith of Love: Teachings of the Greatest Commandment, available in paperback or kindle editions (free if purchase paperback under Matchbook option). Although review of the book may be helpful, it is not required, and summaries of some of its primary concepts are included in the pages that follow. Primarily, this site is intended to invite the wisdom, insights and experiences of those willing to share in the comment sections at the bottom of each page.
Two rules. First, all comments are to be respectful. The site is moderated. Secondly, the site is not designed or intended to debate doctrine, but rather to share that which may be uplifting or helpful to others. That is what the Greatest Commandment is all about.