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The Greatest Commands Make Good Policy

Matthew 22:36-40

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind.’ 38-39 This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar: ‘Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.’ 40 All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them. Keep only these and you will find that you are obeying all the others.”

Has our Constitutional liberties led us to the point of forsaking Almighty God in order to serve the god ‘Selfie’? Men and women have fought and died for the freedom we cherish here in the United States. Those same freedoms may have led us to a sense of personal self-importance. Have we become a selfish nation highly concerned with our rights while dismissing the responsibilities?

The court has ruled that one person’s right to ‘privacy’ negates another’s right to life – the first and most basic freedom. It has ruled that an individual’s ‘right’ to be served trumps a business owner’s religious liberty. Individuals may have the ‘right’ to be included in a private association – even if his beliefs are contrary to the principles of the group. Our government takes citizens’ income and uses it to fund interests and activities that advance their own political careers, in spite of what’s best for the country. As a result, individuals cheat on their taxes in order t to keep more of the money they feel they have the right to keep for themselves. Parents destroy their families in order to find personal happiness, or personal fulfillment with someone else. Children no longer find it necessary to ‘honor’ their fathers and mothers. Instead, some believe their parents owe them the honor.

Many of us can quote President Kennedy’s instruction, ‘Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.’ But how many of us know how John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961 begins? It is well worth reviewing. He reminds us that our forebears fought for the revolutionary belief that our rights come from God and not from the generosity of the state. It would serve our country well to remember this.

When we focus only on the ‘rights’ of the individual – and not on the responsibility, life becomes all about ‘Me.’ Though we are still the most generous nation on earth, we are rapidly becoming a nation of takers. Are we only concerned with the lives of others to the degree that it effects our own? Or do we really care about others?

America is not a theocracy. However, the principles of Matthew 22: 36-40 do make for good public policy. As Christians, we are to be imitators of Jesus Christ. In obedience to His Father and out of His love for us, He gave up his divine right for our salvation.

About Melinda

Melinda is currently the worship leader at her small church in rural America. Married for 23 years, she and her husband Larry have one son. She is the Director of Mailing in the print/mailing industry by day and freelance author by night. Her desire to write is a passion borne from tragedy. God used it to take her faith to a much deeper level. Melinda is a freelance writer and member of FaithWriters. She joined the TBL team in March 2014. Believing we are citizens of a greater ‘kingdom,’ her articles for The Bottom Line examine governmental responsibility, citizen involvement and current political topics. With the great wisdom contained in scripture as her guide, she looks at today’s political environment from a Biblical perspective. She prays her words will prompt the reader to view citizenship - and every aspect of their life, through the eyes of faith. Col 3:17 To read more of Melinda’s writings on her faith, hope, and life visit her blog Still Living Still Loving or her page at Faithwriters.com. You can also follow her on Twitter @MKZbk.

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  1. Good article, Melinda!

  2. Thank you for sharing the comment from JFK about “our rights coming from God & not the generosity of our goverment.” I do not recall that statement getting as much attention as “Ask not what your country can do for you….” statement. It seems to me that (it’s all about me) started with Eve in the garden of Eden,she was only thinking of herself,right ?

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