One Ridiculously Important Thing

By:  Jana Greene

Jesus replied:  Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All of the Law and Prophets hang on to these two commandments. – Matthew 22:36-40. (NIV)

Recently, the “weird and ridiculous” advertisements are all over the internet.  I cannot seem to surf a news site, weather channel blog or Facebook page without being promised “a ridiculously easy trick to stop smoking for good!”  Or, “one old, weird tip for cutting belly fat!”

Although I quit smoking in 2006, I am still tempted to click on the links.  Who doesn’t want to know a ridiculously easy trick?   And a singular old and weird tip for cutting belly fat?  Sign me up!  I’m oldish, definitely weird, and a big fan of the ridiculous.

And marketers know:  The word “one” appeals to us.  If it only takes ONE step, most of us figure we can handle that.  One-step solutions promise us the same results as those requiring work, but without as much of it.  And tricks?  We all like magical resolution– “trick” implies that NO effort on our part to take even the One Easy Step.

Jesus said there really is One Thing.  Love your God with all of your heart, all your soul, all your mind.  Everything else will fall into place if you do that One Thing, in regards to what really matters (which turns out not to be belly fat).  Certainly not ridiculous or weird, and with no trickery involved:

He never said it would be easy; most things worth with permanent results are not.

God’s advertisement strategy for His love is not proclaimed in internet pop-ups or one-click promises.  His advertising is the word of mouth and love in action of His people.  He isn’t seeking a quick sale…He wants a relationship.

I imagine that’s why it’s so important we remember The One Thing, so we can keep loving people the way He loved us while we were still sinners.  The wonder of grace is that it promises forgiveness, but through relationship and acceptance instead of work.  There is no trickery to it; our only effort to receive is to seek Him and ask for it.

No sleight of hand, just willingness of heart.   The One Thing:  Love.