Love God, Love Others

Right now our church is going through the transformational church evaluation. As we were starting the process a few weeks ago, a representative from our state convention came to talk us through what was going to happen. During his presentation, he shared something that he called the Great Commandment Matrix. It is based on Matthew 22:37-40,

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.”

The Great Commandment Matrix (pictured below) is based on the idea that churches (and their members) should be practicing each of these commandments equally. If you focus too much on one commandment or the other, your fleshly self will end up drifting away from what you had originally intended to practice.

The Great Commandment Matrix – Click on this image to see the full handout.

As this handout was shared, the leader shared the following quote and asked us to reflect on which square we fall into.

People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.
― D.A. Carson

During this time of reflection, I was convicted and realized how often I drift away from “Christ-centered” into the three bad categories. Often I look for feelings of spirituality to drift my way instead of putting in “grace-driven” effort. As a result, in the coming weeks I want to renew my resolve in prayer and Bible study and ministry to others. I am making my mantra, “Love God, Love Others”. I pray that I will love God, and out of that love, love others.

Are you drifting today? Or are you pressing on towards holiness?

Much Love,

1 thought on “Love God, Love Others”

  1. Sarah, first of all, thanks for this fascinating post. I absolutely love the little matrix and the categories make so much sense — anything that we center our lives on OTHER than Christ is misguided, and this was a great reminder of that!

    I also wanted to respond to your sweet comment on my blog about your husband’s conversion. Making such a big, life-changing decision is always hard to go through, and the thing that can catch people by surprise is that the act of entering the Church is only the first step; conversion is a lifelong process (for every Christian/Catholic, not just those who convert as adults). Because our faith is so ancient, countless little rituals, customs, and lingo have grown up over the centuries that can be quite confusing when encountered for the first time. You and your husband will both be in my prayers as you continue your journeys towards Christ, and if you ever have any questions about all that stuff I mentioned in my blog post, just let me know — I love talking about my faith and would be happy to explain anything that seems confusing. 🙂

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