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    Motivated by Love

    April 14, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    Scripture tells us that there was a day when a lawyer approached Jesus and asked Him which commandment in the Law was the greatest. Jesus answered, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

    I do not wish to be misconstrued as supporting the idea of duty for duty’s sake. Though I believe that a society will benefit from its citizens doing their duty whether they feel like it or not, the Bible does not teach an empty duty as the work of the Christian. Jesus said that the entire Law and Prophets depend upon a love for God and one’s neighbor, and we know that He fulfilled the Law in His own life, animated by love.

    Yesterday in the comments, Kim got me thinking when she wrote:


    I would love to be able to do everything myself, but it is the times when I can’t that I feel real community with believers. In our culture we are supposed to be self-sufficient and independent, the opposite of what God wants. D. and I were talking about loads turning into burdens turning into opportunities for the Christian community to serve.


    I love the way you related accepting help with accepting love. This is true in marriage as well as in the body of Christ. We look at Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 as a motto for our marriage and this idea that is foreign in our culture.

    Even before the fall, God instituted marriage as a form of community. God looked at the man, the perfect man, and said it wasn’t good for him to be alone. And He created for that man a perfect woman to help him. In a perfect society, in a perfect environment, if my husband were perfect and I were perfect, there would still be a place for helping. How much more so now that this is a fallen world!

    I think that, for me, getting to the place where I can better welcome someone else’s assistance when I need it, whether it be my husband’s help or a friend’s help, is getting past the idea that their help is some sort of commentary on my own inadequacy.

    When my husband offered to dust a table, I used to hear, “Brandy, you didn’t dust the table when I wanted you to,” instead of, “Brandy, I love and appreciate your hard work, and I have time and energy to dust the table, so let me love you by doing it for you this time.”

    I can perform my duties {carry my load, so-to-speak} from a heart that loves God and the work He has graciously set before me, and loves those who benefit from my work {husband, children, community, etc.}. And I can offer help {ease another’s burden} from a heart of love because that love from God overflows. And if I can do that, then I must also accept the help of another, knowing that they, too, have a calling on their life to be filled to overflowing with God’s love, and to express that love to others. I should not thwart the work of the Holy Spirit in my own heart, nor in the heart of my fellow Christian.


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