I sometimes hear people talking (arguing?) about what they think is more important: to agree with the right doctrines, or to be a loving person.
Actually, they go hand in hand. But it needs to be stressed that right thinking results in right living.
How we live our lives—including how we love and care for other people—is based on what we think it means to be loving in the first place. As followers of Jesus, the love and care we share should be based on what Jesus said about loving and caring for others.
In other words, our actions are based on a doctrine (teaching) that originates with Jesus in the Bible. Ergo, right thinking results in right living.
In John 14:15 Jesus says this to his disciples: “If you love me, keep my commands.” If we love Jesus, we will do what he says. But we first need to know and agree with what he says before we can do it. Right thinking (about his words) results in right living (in his footsteps).
This doesn’t mean that we always get it right if our thinking is securely rooted in the Bible. After all, we mess up every day—well, I certainly do! But we’re in a better position to live in a way that honours God if we do.
Let’s listen closely to the life-giving and authoritative words of Jesus—not the Jesus we create in our heads, or the watered-down Jesus others would prefer we adopt—but the Jesus we learn about in Scripture.
Let’s try to understand what he teaches, and walk in his footsteps. Right thinking results in right living.
“If you love me, keep my commands.”
By Matthew Ruttan
—[NEW: Send in pics!] Have you purchased and received your copy of my new book Turbulence in the mail? If so, take a picture of you holding it (you can include your face or not, or up against a background that you like, or not) and email it back to me, or post in the comments. I’m putting them all together in a collage to be used on the internet!
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.