Wednesday, March 2, 2011

God's Complete Command

A few weeks ago I began a journey at my church with their expanded version of Gallup's "Living your Strengths" book. The Clifton Strenghtfinder assessment yielded my top 5 themes as Command, Input, Activator, Connectedness and Self Assurance. This week's blog will focus on command.

As I researched the theme of command, I was naturally led to the theological source first. Most of us, whether religious or not, have heard of the ten commandments.

Jesus simplified them into two commandments. An excerpt from wikepedia states: When asked what is the greatest commandment, Jesus is portrayed by the Gospels of Mark[12:28–34] and of Matthew[22:34-40] as stating that the first two commandments, and the greatest, are
1.One should love God with one's entire heart, soul, mind, and strength
2.One should love one's neighbour as one would love oneself

There are many ways to look at the same thing and commandments are no different. Commandments have been softened to mean the "golden rule" or "guidelines on how to live joyfully and peaceably." God wants us to be joyful and so He generously told us what it takes to be joyful. It would make sense since He designed us, and if we are in His image he would know what is required to makes Him and us joyful.

But what does commandment mean? Well according to Meriam Webster, it simply means to command, an edict or an imperative (religious term). So what does command mean? Again, Merriam Webster defines command as : 1: to have or exercise direct authority : govern, 2: to give orders 3: to be commander, 4: to dominate as if from an elevated place. exercise authority, to dominate from an elevated place, to give orders. It makes sense God is authoritative, since He is the author of everything and everyone. However, people have been granted authority too; the government, police, teachers, parents etc. If we have issues with authority then we will reject it in all forms and simultaneously reject any authority we may be granted individually. But this is food for thought for another blog.

This theme of command and the concept of authority becomes very personal for me. Of the five themes, command ranked number one for me. This agrees with my experience and what friends shared with me. In acknowledging that it is such a part of who I am, the command theme has and will come out consciously and unconsciously. When it is honed and directed consciously, it can be a great asset to others and simultaneously give me peace. However, while choosing to hone and be conscious of my command characteristics seems the best course of action overall, it may not always be what God deems best every time. Sometimes I have to accept that to challenge, take charge and even let loose at times is what I meant to to do, popular or not. It will also put me on the firing line on controversial subjects.

I'll end this reflection with John 2:15-17.

He made a whip out of chords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, "Take these out of here, and stop making my Father's house a marketplace." His disciples recalled the words of scripture, "Zeal for your house will consume me."

Jesus' love here puts God first, the first commandment we are to observe. The first three of the ten commandments all pertain on how we are to love God. Jesus' putting God first is what led him to love us so much and suffer and die for us. However, this particular scripture where Jesus wrath is displayed in the temple is often misunderstood, not accepted, criticized and skipped. It may be that what we often skip has great pearls of wisdom. It is my prayer that we search for, acknowledge, trust and eventually Love God's complete Command.


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