The Christian life is simple: we are to love God and to love our neighbors. Put another way, we are to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. We can also judge our love for God by our love for our neighbors.The Christian life is simple, but it’s also impossible, for me anyway: I find I love my sin more than I love myself. Do my sins profit me? No. So why do I fall into the same sins over and over? The only answer is that I love them more than I love myself.
If I don’t love myself, would my neighbor want me to love him as I love myself? And how can I say I love God if I don’t love my neighbor? If the promises of God are for those who love him, do I have any claim on them?
The next two posts deal with justice and mercy. They are both simple concepts. They’re also impossible to live up to, at least for me. I can name people whom I have wronged and lost track of who have good reason to think, “If Henry Whitney is going to heaven, I don’t want to be there.” Wretched man that I am, who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.
So I realize that in the posts to follow I will be the pot calling the kettle black. But God occasionally used those who were not his people to shame those who were (Gen 38:26; Jer 35; Luke 10:25–37; 1 Cor 5:1). May he similarly use me in what follows.
Part 2 is here