It’s As Easy As Riding A Bike
Have you ever tried to help someone ride a bike? The things we say often make it harder for this newbie to stay up. Look ahead. Don’t lean. Pedal. Sit straight. Keep the handlebars even. We often give so many instructions that the person is immobilized by all the things they have to remember.
We do the exact same thing with Christians. Pray. Read the Bible. Share your faith. Go to church. Memorize Scripture. Go to Bible studies. Spend time with Christians. Serve the poor. And the list goes on and on until the poor Christian burns out on everything they need to do.
Two Things You Need to Get Right
Thankfully Jesus only gave us two rules. Love God and love others (Matthew 22:36-40).
When riding a bike there are really two basic principles: look ahead and pedal. The tendency with new riders is to look at the front wheel. This will throw you off. You look ahead to prepare for any needed adjustments. Then you pedal because the forward momentum will help keep you balanced.
The two commandments from Jesus are like the two bike principles. The principle to look ahead is a reminder to keep the right perspective. In our Christian walk this a reminder to love God. We can’t love unless God first loves us (1 John 4:19). We need to receive from Him in order to have something to give out. Loving God keeps our focus on Him to determine our realities in life. It allows us to make adjustments into the places God leads us.
The principle of pedaling the bike is a reminder to keep moving forward. Similarly we need to keep moving toward people in love. If we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete (1 John 4:12). By loving other people we agree with God that we have been loved. It keeps us moving forward and keeps us balanced in our Christian life. Loving others may be sharing our faith, or it may be keeping silent and just serving someone else. We can love and we know how to love by keeping our source of love from God.
The Centrality of Love
Just as there are other things that can help you to ride a bike better, there are many good things we can do that are helpful for you to live the Christian life. But, let’s make sure we get these two things right. Let’s love God and love others well. If we can get these two things right, everything else will fall in line.