And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37 ESV)
Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment in Scripture and his answer was incredibly simple. The beauty f the simplicity is found in his charge that God’s people are to be people who love. In fact, one translation has his answer start with the words, “You shall love.”
So, when the Son of God was asked for the greatest directive in all of scripture his answer was that we should love. Christianity is exactly that, a call to love. We are to love God and love people.
The love Jesus compels us toward is not one of hyper emotion and shallow substance either. He said that we were to love with all of our being. We should love with our heart, the seat of our emotions and feelings. We should our soul, the very fabric of our identity in Christ. We are to love with our mind. Our thought life should be uplifting.
It is not always easy to love with everything that we have. But I believe it is sometimes less about achievement and more about intentional persistence. God wants to see us want Him. He wants us to desire a closer relationship and an authentic commitment, and like any good parent offers correctional I understanding when we fail. In fact, in the shadow of such a loving and compassionate Father “you shall love” doesn’t seem like such a difficult thing.