“It’s a love problem.”

That’s what I heard myself say at a meeting with my staff yesterday. We were talking about the connection between loving our neighbor, loving one another and loving God. And as we discussed, I became more and more convinced that our loving God is the primary commandment because it sets the stage for everything else.

As we discussed our walk of obedience, I said that “disobedience is primarily a love problem. Any disobedience reflects a deficiency in our love for God.”

The principle came from what Jesus said. “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him. … If anyone loves me, he will keep my word… Whoever does not love me does not keep my words (Jn. 14:21-24).”

That phrase, “It’s a love problem,” was easy to say. In fact it came out quickly, almost without thought. And now I have live with the truth of that. Think about it for a moment, if we have a deficiency in our obedience, we have a deficiency in our love for God. So, to grow in our oneness with God, we have to grow in our love for Him.

I recoil at this a bit because it is easy to say I love God. And I do. But it is hard to admit that my love for Him is incomplete.

If the essential element to living God’s life is my love for Him, how do we do that? I don’t think there is a simple 3 step plan, but I think I can walk down that road…

…if I come to grips again with what He’s done for me. And this must be my daily pursuit. I can’t go a day without remembering where I would be without Him. And this would be better if it would be an hour by hour, moment by moment practice of my heart.

…if I will slow down enough and quiet myself enough to listen to Him. As I listen to Him, in His Word and in meditation-prayer, I am aware of His presence and I want to increasingly walk with Him.

…if I will be honest about my own disobedience. I can’t hide my faults and the holes in my love. I must daily, admit where I have stopped listening to His loving voice and sought to ignore His sacrifice and His purpose.

…if I will remember that my love for Him is central to everything I am and everything I do. If I don’t love Him first and most, my love for my kids, for my wife, for my neighbor, for my church will all fail.

The grace of Jesus and His sacrifice makes this love possible. And I am so grateful for that. But in order to grow, I have to be honest about the holes in my love for God. When my kids were young, as they were learning to express themselves, they would use the phrase “this is more better.” It meant that while one thing is good, this thing is of another quality. It’s not just better and it isn’t just more. It is “more better.”

In this honest appraisal of the holes in my love, I want to love Him “more better.”

– Do you see the holes in your love for God?
– How do you foster a greater, personal, intimate (more better) love for God?