by Ev Worthington
How do Christians flourish? Here is one answer, from Psalm 1:
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
What is this law that we are to delight in and to meditate on day and night, drawing nourishment from it as from a stream of water?
I think the answer is given in Matthew 22:35–40. An expert in the Mosaic Law tested Jesus with this question: “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
We therefore believe that a Christian’s actions should be motivated by unselfish, sacrificial love—the love of God for our fellow man. We are to strive for this, and appeal to God for the grace to give it to us, though we don’t deserve it. Ideally, we hope to allow that law of love to govern every aspect of our life and interactions with others. God’s law of love is the ultimate fulfillment of Biblical law, including the Ten Commandments. “All the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Galatians 5:14). It is by Jesus Christ’s salvation and his law of love that Christians receive freedom from slavish adherence to rigorously observing them. Alas, we are held to a higher law—Christ’s law of love, which should guide all of our interactions with the Lord God and with others.