Simplicity

I’ve been reading through 1 John the last few days. Today this part stuck out to me:

1 John 3:23

This is [God’s] commandment: to believe in his Son, the one named Jesus Christ, and to love each other as he commanded us. Those who obey Christ’s commandments live in God, and God lives in them. We know that he lives in us because he has given us the Spirit.

The simplicity of this verse stands in stark contrast to the amount of all that I’ve read, heard, and lived in regards to being a follower of Jesus. My reasoning for this error is that we live a culture that values the pursuit of knowledge above most else. In the story of the Garden in Genesis…what does the serpent tempt Adam and Eve with? Knowledge. Abandoning the simple trust in their God, they chose it.

I wonder: In our pursuit of knowledge about God, scripture, and what we believe is Christian living; in what ways have we abandoned the commandment of God: to obey Jesus, and love each other.

I wonder: How would the world be different if we traded our talk, thoughts, and plans for loving others – for actually loving others?

I wonder: Will we ever be content with the simplicity of love? Or will we continually be tempted to add more to it? …maybe as a justification for our lack of obeying Jesus’ commandment to love?

I’m serious about this choosing love thing. We’ve done the knowledge thing for a long time and it’s gotten us only so far. I say we allow our knowledge to evolve into love and let God have a shot using that for a few generations.

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  1. Paul on October 7, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Justin- I think that the biggest reason that I choose to pursue knowledge about Jesus is because I don’t want to look stupid in a debate or talk with someone who is either asking serious questions or has the motive to make me look dumb b/c I am a christian. I guess the only problem with that is that the gospel is foolish, and to try and use it as the basis for an intellectual debate seems kind of outside the bounds of what it’s for. Simple faith leads to the desire to better know our God, and I hope that that will be enough for me.

    Thank you for this post, b/c I struggle greatly with trying to get a greater head knowledge of Christ, and I think that that comes at the expense of a greater knowledge of his heart.

  2. Being Known « people are my art on October 7, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    […] good friend, just this morning, posted this blog about the difference between knowing and loving people.  There’s a tremendous link between […]

  3. Joe on October 7, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I love how God is teaching a generation much of the same stuff even 1/2 way around the world. A generation to raise up and love, not debate.

    I agree with Paul that my pursuit of knowledge is primarily based on my need to get ahead of the next person. But, again, it was Jesus who taught us that there is no greater love than serving, laying down your life for each other.

  4. Troy on October 10, 2008 at 10:28 am

    Amen.

    -Troy

  5. Amy Ginther on October 15, 2008 at 7:17 am

    wow. perfect.

    simple as that…

    thank you!

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