“Hear O’ Israel, the Lord your God is one.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Moses told the tribe of Israel on the outskirts of Canaan. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
It’s one of the most famous verses in the Bible.
Not because I think of Moses telling the Israelites this before they entered Canaan.
But because Jesus said this is “the one.”
One of the religious rulers asked, “Which is the most important commandment?”
“The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ (Mark 12:28-30, NLT)
I don’t think I realized this was rooted in Deuteronomy before today.
Moses reviewed other important “Commandments,” too.
The TEN they received at Horeb.
Moses was reminding this generation of Israelites that God had made a covenant, not just with Father Abraham, but with them.
The Lord did not make this covenant with our ancestors, but with all of us who are alive today. At the mountain the Lord spoke to you face to face from the heart of the fire. (Deuteronomy 5:3-4)
Moses gave them the secret sauce for surviving and even thriving-
Do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight, so that it may go well with you (Deuteronomy 6:18)
Most importantly, Moses reminded them why all this was so fundamental to their well being.
“The Lord did not set his heart on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! Rather, it was simply that the Lord loves you… (Deuteronomy 7:7)
It’s this verse that settles my racing heart today.
The reminder that I did not, do not and cannot “earn” God’s love by bigger or better.
You’d really think I’d know this one by now.
But this particular lie runs deeeeeep.
Lately, I’ve been too caught up in comparing myself.
I can always find someone who is “better” than me-
A better writer. A better wife. A better mom. A better christian.
I can always find someone who is “more” than me-
More fit, more organized, more productive, more successful.
The lists go on.
It’s all based on some image I’ve carved out of gold I suppose.
As I read Deuteronomy today, I bow my head and recite commandment #2-
“I shall not make for myself an idol of any kind.” (Deut. 5:7)
Then I say a humble prayer,
“Forgive me my sins as I forgive those who sin against me.” (Matthew 6:12)
And today, I hear Jesus saying to me…
I did not set my heart on you and choose you because you are “better” or “more” than another… Rather it is simply that I love you. (Deut. 7:7)
His is the love that drives out the lies of comparison.
Embracing it is helping me overcome my unruly comparison syndrome today.
Journal / Reflection Questions
Here are the questions I’m asking today if you want to join me…
- Where am I comparing myself to “images” I’ve constructed of other people?
- Isn’t that just a fancy way of “idolizing?”
- What is this comparison doing to my mood? My peace? My well-being?
- What lies am I believing about my own inadequacy?
- Would I like to give those lies to Jesus now in exchange for His truth? (Yes!) So, I’m working on letting go of the images/idols and putting His truth back on the throne of my life.
Also published on Medium.
Categorized in: spirituality