COMMANDMENTS FOR LOVING GOD
The first three commandments teach us how to love God with all our heart, mind, and soul.
God is constant and unchangeable, faithful and just, without any evil. He is almighty, merciful and infinitely good, always acting for my benefit. Do I sometimes think or act as if He’s not?
Have I failed to love God unconditionally, without reservation or distrust? In what areas of my life is my faith in Him incomplete?
When have I failed to acknowledge and accept His authority, and tried to do things my way?
Have I neglected to do everything possible to nourish and protect my faith?
Have I ignored the danger of listening to teachings that contradict the Church, such as those that are propagated through television, movies, books, magazines, newspapers, occult games, politicians and other people?
Have I willingly doubted God, thus making my own wisdom to be my god?
Is money and material possessions my god? They are, if I value them more than the people in my life, or if I spend more time focused on them than on my family and friends.
What are the graven images I worship?
Money? Do I trust my income to provide me with what I need, instead of truly trusting God and His timing? If I go into debt to buy something, I’m not trusting God.
The television? Do I watch shows that are contrary to God’s kingdom? If Jesus walked through my door, would I be able to invite Him to sit with me while I watch my programs?
My furniture? If I prefer falling asleep in that plush chair or sofa when I should be tending to my family, reading spiritual books or meditating with the Bible, then this has become my god.
Do I ever doubt God, rejecting what He’s revealed to me, or rejecting what the Church has taught me to believe? If I do, I’m making a god out of myself, believing that I know better than God about what’s best for me.
Have I despaired? If so, I’ve decided not to wait on God’s help. I’m worshiping my own ideas and my own time-table for how and when problems should get resolved.
Do I think God cannot forgive my sins? Or someone else’s? If so, I’m telling God how to run His kingdom!
Do I think my good works alone will save me? That is the sin of presumption, and I’m fashioning my works into an idol. Only by allowing Jesus to change me from a sinner into a saint—via his suffering and death on the cross—can I be saved from the fires of eternal hell.
Do I count on God’s mercy so much that I expect Him to overlook my sins “because He understands”? This kind of god is one I’ve created to give myself permission to sin. The true God is merciful, yes, but His love cannot save me from the evil of my sinfulness unless I choose to turn away from it.
Am I indifferent toward God and what He is asking of me? Am I ungrateful, spiritually lazy, or lukewarm in my faith? This is the sin of not loving Him with my whole heart.
Have I failed to take time each day to pray, because it seems more important to spend my time on other activities?
Am I unwilling to make sacrifices for God and for His Kingdom? This includes my money, time, possessions and talents. It also includes the fears, low self-esteem and pride that keeps me from saying “yes” to Him.
Do I try to manipulate God by bargaining with Him? (“If you heal my daughter, I’ll go to Mass every day.”) If so, I’m trying to bribe Him. He doesn’t want my bribe; He wants my trust in His ability to handle the problem the way He knows is best.
Do I try to manipulate my life through superstitions (including religious ones), divination, magic, or other occult practices? If so, I’m not truly believing that God is loving enough and powerful enough to help me by His own means.
Have I ever denied the Faith? Or followed teachings that disagree with Catholic Church teachings?
Next • 2nd Commandment
© 2000 by Terry A. Modica
A printable version is available at the end.
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