FAITH IN FOCUS:HEART – SOUL – MIND – STRENGTH
The Jews had 613 laws and regulations which Jesus summarised into one two-part commandment: If you want to be in the kingdom of God then love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and love your neighbour as you love yourself.
Love God with all your heart. The heart is called the seat of emotion. Are you ‘emotional’ about God or is God just a cosmic idea, a celestial force that controls the universe? Do you feel passionate about God? Do you have ‘feelings’ for God?
Love God with all your soul. Your soul is the real you. It’s the deep down psyche that makes you what and who you are. Is your whole existence oriented towards God or is God simply a facet of your life that you turn to from time to time, on Sundays or in times of trouble?
Love God with your whole mind. Your mind accounts for the intellectual side of your activity. Do you make decisions about life and your future with God in mind? Do you use your brainpower to try to learn as much as you can about your faith or are you content to hobble along with the same understanding that you had when you were still a young child?
Love God with all your strength. Strength refers to the vigour with which we devote ourselves to God. Do you proclaim your faith with all the force and might at your disposal? Or is the practice of your faith heartless, soulless and mindless? Do you use all the faculties that God has endowed you with (heart, soul, and mind)?
Love your neighbour as yourself. Everyone is our neighbour no matter how far away they are. We can only love God if we love our neighbour. Do you give any practical help to the needy? Are you another Christ to the people you live and work with? If you want to be part of the kingdom of God, says Jesus, then just keep this two-pronged commandment.
Alternatively, you can apply for a copy of the original 613…