(This is my 60th post on ‘Deolu Blogs Here’! *Whoop! Whoop!* So, I decided to commemorate by sharing some of the deep things that have blessed me recently. Over to you, Mr Drummond!
Oh, and it’s also my birthday today. Huh… -_- )
“EVERY one has asked himself the great question of antiquity as of the modern world: What is the summum bonum—the supreme good? You have life before you. Once only you can live it. What is the noblest object of desire, the supreme gift to covet?
“We have been accustomed to be told that the greatest thing in the religious world is Faith. That great word has been the key-note for centuries of the popular religion; and we have easily learned to look upon it as the greatest thing in the world. Well, we are wrong. If we have been told that, we may miss the mark. In the 13th chapter of I Corinthians, Paul takes us to Christianity at its source; and there we see, ‘The greatest of these is love.’
“It is not an oversight. Paul was speaking of faith just a moment before. He says, ‘If I have all faith, so that I can remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing.’ So far from forgetting, he deliberately contrasts them, ‘Now abideth Faith, Hope, Love,’ and without a moment’s hesitation the decision falls, ‘The greatest of these is Love.’
“And it is not prejudice. A man is apt to recommend to others his own strong point. Love was not Paul’s strong point. The observing student can detect a beautiful tenderness growing and ripening all through his character as Paul gets old; but the hand that wrote, ‘The greatest of these is love,’ when we meet it first, is stained with blood.
“Nor is this letter to the Corinthians peculiar in singling out love as the summum bonum. The masterpieces of Christianity are agreed about it. Peter says, ‘Above all things have fervent love among yourselves.’ Above all things. And John goes farther, ‘God is love.’
“You remember the profound remark which Paul makes elsewhere, ‘Love is the fulfilling of the law.’ [Romans 13:10, Galatians 5:14] Did you ever think what he meant by that? In those days men were working the passage to Heaven by keeping the Ten Commandments, and the hundred and ten other commandments which they had manufactured out of them. Christ came and said, ‘I will show you a more simple way. If you do one thing, you will do these hundred and ten things, without ever thinking about them. If you love, you will unconsciously fulfill the whole law.’
“You can readily see for yourselves how that must be so. Take any of the commandments. ‘Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.’ If a man love God, you will not require to tell him that. Love is the fulfilling of that law. ‘Take not His name in vain.’ Would he ever dream of taking His name in vain if he loved him? ‘Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.’ Would he not be too glad to have one day in seven to dedicate more exclusively to the object of his affection? Love would fulfill all these laws regarding God.
“And so, if he loved man, you would never think of telling him to honor his father and mother. He could not do anything else. It would be preposterous to tell him not to kill. You could only insult him if you suggested that he should not steal—how could he steal from those he loved? It would be superfluous to beg him not to bear false witness against his neighbor. If he loved him it would be the last thing he would do. And you would never dream of urging him not to covet what his neighbors had. He would rather they possessed it than himself. In this way ‘Love is the fulfilling of the law.’ It is the rule for fulfilling all rules, the new commandment for keeping all the old commandments, Christ’s one secret of the Christian life.”
“I ask you to look at it. It is a compound thing, he [Paul] tells us. It is like light. As you have seen a man of science take a beam of light and pass it through a crystal prism, as you have seen it come out on the other side of the prism broken up into its component colors—red, and blue, and yellow, and violet, and orange, and all the colors of the rainbow—so Paul passes this thing, Love, through the magnificent prism of his inspired intellect, and it comes out on the other side broken up into its elements.
“In these few words we have what one might call the Spectrum of Love, the analysis of Love. Will you observe what its elements are? Will you notice that they have common names; that they are virtues which we hear about every day; that they are things which can be practised by every man in every place in life; and how, by a multitude of small things and ordinary virtues, the supreme thing, the summum bonum, is made up?
The Spectrum of Love has nine ingredients:
Patience “Love suffereth long.”
Kindness “And is kind.”
Generosity “Love envieth not.”
Humility “Love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up.”
Courtesy “Doth not behave itself unseemly.”
Unselfishness “Seeketh not its own.”
Good temper “Is not provoked.”
Guilelessness “Taketh not account of evil.”
Sincerity “Rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth.”
“You will observe that all are in relation to men, in relation to life, in relation to the known to-day and the near to-morrow, and not to the unknown eternity. We hear much of love to God; Christ spoke much of love to man. We make a great deal of peace with heaven; Christ made much of peace on earth. Religion is not a strange or added thing, but the inspiration of the secular life, the breathing of an eternal spirit through this temporal world. The supreme thing, in short, is not a thing at all, but the giving of a further finish to the multitudinous words and acts which make up the sum of every common day. Now the business of our lives is to have these things fitted into our characters. That is the supreme work to which we need to address ourselves in this world, to learn Love. Is life not full of opportunities for learning Love? Every man and woman every day has a thousand of them. The world is not a playground; it is a schoolroom. Life is not a holiday, but an education. And the one eternal lesson for us all is how better we can love.”
The most important [commandment] says:
‘…you have only one Lord and God. You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’
The second most important commandment says:
‘Love others as much as you love yourself.’
No other commandment is more important than these.
— Jesus Christ (Mark 12:29-31 CEV)