Mark Zuckerberg and his crew give us 9 options for describing our relationship status on Facebook. One of them is, “It’s complicated.” Complicated. Yes. Relationships, life itself can feel very complicated. But there are these instructions in Ecclesiastes 12:14 that seem to simply life and relationships. “When all has been heard, the end of the matter is: fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is Almighty God] and keep His commandments, for this applies to every person” (AMP).
What are His commandments? The website, God’s Word First, states there are not 10 but 613 commandments in the Old Testament Law. Six hundred and thirteen! But Jesus simplifies it all for us by highlighting two. This is the summary: 1) “Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind; and 2) “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-41). Later, in his final extended conversation with his disciples before His crucifixion, He said this, /“I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another” (John 13:34, AMP).
He did not only give this commandment, He made it possible for us to love as He loves by abundantly pouring out His love within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Romans 5:5, AMP). In addition, the qualities of love are spelled out for us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 (AMP):
4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]… 13 And now there remain: faith [abiding trust in God and His promises], hope [confident expectation of eternal salvation], love [unselfish love for others growing out of God’s love for me], these three [the choicest graces]; but the greatest of these is love.
Combined, the truths in Ecclesiastes 12:14, Matthew 22:26-41 and John 13:34, paraphrased could read, “This is what is most important, fear God [worship Him with awe-filled reverence, knowing that He is Almighty God] and keep His commandments; that is, “Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind; and love others as Jesus loves you.” Life and relationships simplified./
I am participating in the Five Minute Friday community’s weekly writing adventure, hosted by Kate Motaung. This week’s prompt is “Simplify.” The content between the // was written after 5 minutes expired.