Goal: To personally and relationally benefit from the application of principles embedded in the Two Greatest Commandments (Luke 10: 25 – 28).
To achieve this goal I’d like to introduce you to a concept I call “The Sixty-six and Thirty-three Percent Solution.” It’s based on a Theological premise located in the Bible commonly known as “The Two Greatest Commandments.” The premise is simple and has three equal parts. Part One is Loving Your God, which is the first 33%. Part Two is Loving Yourself, which is the second or “middle” 33%. Part Three is Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself, which is the final 33%. We’ll talk more about each part in this post and in the next 2 posts, as the premise is simple and could enhance your ability to engage in and produce practical, necessary, and helpful behaviors for your benefit, and for the benefit of those who are in close proximity to you, that is, your actual “neighbors” or, your neighbors who reside on the other side of the planet that you also care about. I’m grouping the first two parts together (into the 66% part of the equation) as the combination is fundamental to your personal growth. The application of the final 33% is key to the welfare of your neighbors (hence “solution”). So let’s look at how the first 33%, or how Loving your God is beneficial to you.
It goes without saying that knowing, receiving, and experiencing healthy forms of love from a kind, generous, empowering, comforting, and wise (among other powerful attributes) Higher Power on a consistent basis could be therapeutic to your well-being and prove to be beneficial toward the development of your identity, purpose and overall quality of life experience(s). Personally, I’ve realized there’s no one on this planet who has consistently produced then provided me with the breadth of wisdom, depth of love, and the highest level of care and direction throughout the entirety of my life than my God. I have been loved by my God, and I know what love is due to being loved by my God, and my God has helped me immensely in my effort to love the neighbors in my life.
In addition to experiencing the love of God through the above-mentioned attributes (and there are more!), a valuable and loving gift from God to me (and dare I say to all His children) is the gift of a Conscience. My conscience has helped me to know and experience the heart, mind, intentions, and love God has for me, and to recognize, understand, and be empowered to reproduce His love via actions that reflect His character. This is an incredibly precious gift for two important reasons.
First, my conscience reflects the “conscious contact” I maintain with God, and when I remain intimately connected with God, I get to know His character, which helps me to know myself (all of my good, bad and ugly parts, on full display for all to see through my moral conduct). Thankfully God doesn’t leave me hanging there, because left to my own device without the connection to my Higher Power my conduct and behavior has been known and prone to get bad and ugly!
However, the second important point and gift I’ve received from God through my conscience is the more I engage in the intimate and powerful “circular process” to gain knowledge of, and understand the Mind of God (through the practice of my spiritual disciplines), the more He assists me to know His love, which helps me to distinguish between right and wrong and prompts me to choose the former and avoid the latter (Philippians 2:1-13; Psalm 119:11; Psalm 139:23-24; Romans 12:2; I John 2:9-11; Psalm 56:13).
This second part of His compassionate gift to me helps me to “drop the rock” of self-and other harm (actions infected with toxic guilt and shame), and has helped me to realize then demonstrate to myself (the middle 33%) and to others (the final 33%) that His mercy, love, and compassion are behaviors more suitable for my mind, my life and my hands than rocks judgmentally thrown at others (John 8:2-11). My conscience has taught me this is not only the mind of Jesus but also the actions He wants me to know, personally benefit from, then demonstrate in all my affairs with others. Developing a “66% – 33% mindset yields 66%-33% solutions,” and as we’ll see in the next two posts you, then others in your life are intended to be the biggest recipients and benefactors of the love of God, who is the Author of the solution.
Suggested Activity: What are the attributes of your Higher Power that you have received and how has their presence made a positive difference in you? Over the next 30 days prayerfully consider what character value or virtue the Spirit of God is wanting to develop in you for your personal benefit. Equally, what positive actions might God be encouraging and prompting you to engage in (through what could be a quiet, inner voice via your conscience) that you may not have wanted to hear, heed or act upon? If so moved, what “corrective behaviors” is your conscience prompting you to implement?
What skills would you like to develop due to experiencing positive attributes from your God?
Thanks for reading this excerpt from Cultivating Love: Wisdom for Life. As time permits, please visit the other blogs written by Dr. Ken McGill: Daily Bread for Life and “3–2–5–4–24″ for additional information that could be helpful.