As I was growing up, I heard a phrase in reference to trying not to make things more complicated than we have to. KISS: Keep it Super Simple. Or the more pejorative, Keep it Simple, Stupid! Generally in life, we tend to make things more complicated than they need to be. We can get lost in the details of what we are doing and lose sight of our original objective. We can make mountains out of molehills, when we fear a task looming before us that we are not prepared for, or that seems impossible to complete. However, after we start and work to completion, it may not seem as difficult as it once did. I think it is a good challenge to sum up things in one or two sentence descriptions, whether it is your job, a gameplan to complete a task, or any number of things, it helps you keep focused on what you are trying to accomplish. There is even a principle called Occam’s razor, which postulates that the simplest answer is usually the most likely or accurate one. How about when it comes to God…does He like to keep it simple, as well?
“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 22:36-40
Jesus summed up the Old Testament law with two simple commands. It was much simpler than the myriad of laws and extra commands that the religious leaders of the time gave people to be ‘accetable.’ The Ten Commandments can be divided by 2 as well, when you consider the first 4 are directed toward Loving God, and the last 6 are toward Loving others, it seems to fit well with Jesus’ love commands. When you approach challenges of life with these two principles, it is not difficult to come up with a valid way to approach almost anything you may encounter. When we get puffed up with pride, greed, envy, anger, and the like, problems are bound to result. When we approach people and situations with love as our primary motive, we will still face challenges, but the results will be less problematic. Now we know the answer to the question, ‘What’s Love got to do with it?’
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11
How well do we love God and others? The more we practice, the better we get, though we will never do it perfectly. Jesus shared many parables, like the Good Samaritan, which illustrated the degree we would have to go to love perfectly, which is ultimately an unattainable ideal. More often than not, when we consider these areas of our lives that we ‘need to work on,’ it reveals to us the degree to which we are all still sinners in need of saving, no matter how ‘good’ we get. Sure, we may appear to our neighbors like we’ve got it all together, but they don’t see our hearts like God does. If they only knew X,Y,Z. But the good news is that God continues to forgive us, when we humble ourselves and come to Him, we receive mercy. Though we are imperfect now, when we model the fruit of the Spirit toward others, as He does toward us, we become more like Him.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
So, let us not give up our pursuit of striving to be like Christ in all we say and do. The more we read the Word and become familiar with his life, the more we will see opportunities to do the same. We can demonstrate love toward others as He has toward us. We can forgive others, as He forgives us. We can give our lives for him and others, as He has for us. Keep it simple and love the way He loved!
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35
Yours in Christ,