Everyone always talks about the Ten Commandments, they are definitely a main topic of focus. But Christ tells us that there are two commandments that are greater and more important than the rest.
The question is, what are the best ways to follow the Two Greatest Commandments?
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What are the two Greatest Commandments?
- “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment…”
- “…And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 22: 37-39
What are some ways to follow the Two Greatest Commandments?
First, we need to break it down and look at each commandment individually. Then we can explore ideas to follow them in our everyday lives.
How to love God with all thy heart, soul, and mind
1. Bear your testimony of Him always
It only makes sense that when you love something (or someone) you talk about what you love about it, why you love it, what makes it amazing, true, special, etc.
Bearing your testimony is a powerful and loving way to share your love for God.
Don’t forget to check out this related article – 12 Ways to Build and Strengthen Your Testimony
2. Speak to Him often
Whether you get down on your hands and knees before bed, or say a quick prayer in the car on the way to work, speaking to Him often is a great way to show your love for Him.
You can also do a prayer journal or a gratitude journal as a creative way to speak with God.
3. Surround yourself with His presence
When you really love someone, you want to be around them often. And, it’s quite flattering when someone wants to be around YOU all the time, also.
So let’s show our love of our Heavenly Father by surrounding ourselves with His presence as much as we can. Not only does that show our affection, but it also keeps us grounded, and focused on our true values.
Check out this related article on 9 Ways to Feel God’s Presence In Your Life Everyday
4. Make time for Him
If you aren’t willing to make time for someone, how much do you really care about them? This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours every day praying, reading scriptures, and going to church gatherings.
There are so many creative ways to spend time with God that will help you to feel His presence and His guidance. One really cool way I have recently found to make time for God is to get a Faithbox! Faithbox is a company that creates tons of different Christian-themed boxes full of goodies designed to help you grow your faith.
Here are a few examples of boxes they offer:
- Redemption box
- Transformation box
- Hope box
- Adventure box
- Wisdom box
This article on How to Make Time for God When You Barely Have Time for Yourself is also full of creative and great ideas for spending time with God.
5. Follow all of His commandments
A REALLY great way to show your love for someone is to respect their wishes. And God’s wish for us is that we follow His commandments so that we can live the best possible life that we can.
While we may not always be perfect at this, I think our intentions are very important. Heavenly Father knows what’s in our hearts. He knows when we are trying to do the right things, and He knows when we’re remorseful.
Trying to follow ALL of His commandments is a perfect way to show that we love Him so much that we are willing to trust Him, respect Him, and follow Him.
6. Love all of His children
While this is technically the second greatest commandment, it’s also a great way to show our love for Heavenly Father. Why? Well. If your best friend has created a piece of art that you don’t like, are you going to say that it sucks and then throw it on the ground and stomp all over it? NO. Because you love and respect that person, so you would never hurt something that they worked hard on, and that they love. While this clearly is not the same thing, you get the metaphor!
God does not like it when we treat His other children poorly, and rightfully so! I am a mother, and if someone disrespected my child you better believe I would be upset. I don’t care what they did. If they need discipline, I will do that. It’s not anyone’s place to mistreat my children. So why should we mistreat God’s children?
I know that this is so much easier said than done. But all we can do is be mindful of it, so that we can try our best at loving one another.
How to love thy neighbor as thyself
1. Serve others
How often in the scriptures does it talk about service? Yeah. A lot. That’s because it is so important. We are all brothers and sisters. It is important that we help and support one another whenever possible.
One of the coolest things about serving others is that you are benefitting so much from it yourself. It feels so good to do good. Check out this article on The Benefits of Serving Others.
2. Don’t speak poorly about others
It’s important to be mindful of how we talk about the people around us. I’ve found for myself that when I talk negatively about others, it puts me in a worse mindset. It’s really not good for you or your mental health to focus on the negative features of others.
There are many scriptures about not talking poorly about others, one really great one is “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.” – Ephesians 4:31
3. Don’t cast judgement
Now, this is one of the most talked about things in the bible. It is NOT our place to judge others. That is God’s job and His alone.
One of my favorite scriptures about judgment is James 4:11-12 – “Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is only one lawgiver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?”
When I catch myself judging someone, I TRY to think about how much I hate when others judge me, and I try to stop myself right there. That’s also a lot easier said than done.
The way the world is now, we often go immediately to judgment, before we have a second to stop ourselves. So it will take a lot of training to change that automatic thought pattern. Here’s an interesting article on Learning to Stop Judging Others.
4. Practice forgiveness
This can be so hard. But, it is made very clear that it is important that we make forgiveness a priority in our lives.
There are so many reasons that forgiveness is important.
One reason is obviously that if we are going to be shown mercy by God and Jesus Christ, why shouldn’t we show mercy on those around us?
Another reason that some people don’t realize is an important reason to forgive is that living with anger, and resentment is really bad for our own mental health, and sometimes even our physical health. Holding onto those negative feelings does nothing but further frustrate and hurt you. It does nothing to the person that you are mad at. So really it’s unfair to you.
Forgiveness is more for your benefit than it is for the person you need to forgive.
What did you think about these ways to follow the two Greatest Commandments?
How would you say you do at following these? What could you improve on? What are some other ideas you would add to the list? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!