Mark 12:32–33 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
Years ago, I had a friend who was a marvelous golfer. Better still, whenever friends played golf with Jay, he made it into a golfing lesson to help us. I really appreciated the fact that throughout the round he would give me tips and help me become a better golfer. One day another friend of mine joined us for a round of golf. I had told him that Jay would help him with his game. As we started playing it became apparent that his golf game was really hurting.
We played the first few holes and Jay hadn’t said anything to him yet in terms of helping his golf game. As we were walking down the 4th fairway, Jay came over to me and said, “I will help him, but he’s doing so many things wrong, I haven’t figured out where to start.”
Loving God and loving one another have some interesting similarities to playing golf. They all take practice and it’s wonderful to have friends around who will help us do it better. We have to be around them and be willing to listen. If we want to become better at golf, we work at it. Maybe we take lessons. We watch better golfers to learn what we can from them. We find time to play more golf. We have to be intentional about it. The same principles apply to our faith.
How good it is when we have individuals in our lives who exemplify what scriptures teach. But we need to know what scripture teaches in order to really recognize genuine Godliness. In golf, we have par. In life, we have all kinds of different things claiming to be right.
That is where Scripture and the Holy Spirit are so important, along with being a part of a vibrant life giving church. We have a lot to learn and God wants us to learn from one another. One advantage of our faith is that we get to live and “practice” it everywhere: at work, at play, at home or out with friends. No matter where we are, or what we are doing, loving God and loving one another applies. We need to learn to do it well.