My children are fond of telling each other, “Mommy says you have to clean up/share with me/give me that toy/play what I want!” They love to use my words to get one to obey the other, especially when I haven’t actually said it.
Jesus tells us that those who hear God’s word and obey it are blessed. But sometimes we use God’s words to get people to obey us, rather than God. How can we be sure that we are asking people to obey God’s words and not our own?
The word of God is a word of life and love, and of forgiveness through Christ. Jesus proclaims to us that God’s word is to “Love the Lord your God?and your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:30,31) When our words invite people to receive God’s love and to love others in return, we can be sure that we are inviting them to obey God, rather than ourselves. When we ourselves love our neighbour, we can be sure that we are obeying the word of God and not our own desires.
God of love, thank you that obedience to your word takes the form of love. Amen. — KDH