God’s first commandment reads; “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” Jesus taught to love God with all our heart and all our soul, then to love our neighbor as ourself. This is me!!! This is my very spirit, my connection to God. This is how I will attain perfection in God’s world. When I look at this, it is that simple; it is that difficult.
Simple, because the requests are simple to understand. I have only one God, as do we all. As a mortal man, I love God with my very existence; as much as I am able, as much as I believe is possible. My only wish is that it is enough for God; yet, in my heart I know it is because I strive for this each day, and that is what god wants. I also love my neighbor; that is a simple thing to do. I look past what my neighbor looks like or how he speaks. He is my equal in God’s eyes.
Difficult, because I am a mortal man living in a mortal world dominated by a society that allows almost half of its population live in abject poverty. I was in Latrobe, Pennsylvania this weekend watching my grandson play lacrosse. On Sunday morning, as I was dressing, I heard a news report that said that to live in the Pittsburgh area, a family of four would need an hourly wage of almost forty-five dollars an hour to feed, cloth, and educate the children. Our minimum wage is just over seven dollars and hour. This is a sinful abomination to the word of God.
This is man’s doing, not God’s. Solomon, the author of Proverbs was correct, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” Our leaders think that the minimum wage is enough for people to survive, and, we let them get away with it. Even the poor elect politicians who love the big business and vote against the people. So who is the sinner. . . we all are!!
As a result, in our mortal lives, we deserve everlasting punishment. In our spiritual lives, we are at the mercy of a gracious God. I pray my good deeds can make up for the fact that I am guilty of the sin of financial oppression through my election of greedy politicians for even my vote is against one person of greed, I am in fact supporting another.
©Russell Kendall Carter