I’ve slowly been discovering that I can’t peel my relationship with God apart from my relationship with other people. You’d think this is Christianity 101, right? But somehow I’ve often reduced my faith down to a list of rules or a collection of doctrinal statements that I affirm that do nothing to change how I interact with these other people who are different from me, who believe differently than I do, who irritate and frustrate me, who inconvenience me and cause me pain. Maybe that’s why I’d like to separate the two, to insist that I can truly love God and walk blindly, unfeelingly, past those around me.
Jesus didn’t mince words about what He wanted. Mark 12:28-32, “And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, ‘Which commandment is the most important of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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.”