Do you create silly scenarios in your head, imagining situations that will never happen? I do.
I imagine myself applying for a job at a Christian company. In the job interview, they ask me some difficult questions: which law in the Bible do you find hardest to obey, and why; and which commandment in the Bible do you find easiest to obey, and why?
How would you answer these questions?
I think the hardest commandment for me to obey is “love your neighbor.” Some of my neighbors are easy to love, especially the ones I don’t see very often. I can love people I never met and donate money to feed them and to send missionaries to them. Other neighbors make obedience to that command much harder for me.
In particular, I find it hard to love Mrs. Dim. The sound of her voice, like the sound of her lawn tools, wracks my nerves. Her negative judgment of me, based on the quality of my lawn care, offends me. Her deliberate insults bother me. Some days, just hearing the sound of her car’s tires on her driveway sets my heart racing with anxiety.
But if I saw her ox or her donkey wandering, I would help bring it back home. If her car was stuck in ice and snow, I would help push it free. If she collapsed in her yard, I would rush to her aid, carrying a cell phone to call 911. If that’s not love, what is?
I find it hard to love Mrs. Dim, in part because she gives me no opportunity to love her. Other people are also hard to love. A message has been traveling around Facebook to the effect that each of us should care as much about the people we see every day as we care about our favorite celebrities. That’s good advice.
Which commandment do I find easiest to obey? I have no trouble not cooking a goat in its mother’s milk. I realize that some legalists have banned all dishes that mix dairy and meat because of the slim chance that one of the animals that provided the meat was the offspring of the cows or goats that were milked. No pizza with both meat and cheese. No cheeseburgers. No casseroles with both meat and dairy. I would struggle to accept those dietary restrictions, if I thought that’s what God intended, but Jesus and the apostles have declared all foods clean.
The original command probably banned a practice of Canaanite religion. The zeal of those who try to observe it in extreme ways today is admirable, but the freedom Christians have is beautiful. We do not have to worry about what we eat or what we drink or what we wear, aside from good stewardship of our bodies. It is easy to follow commandments that have already been fulfilled for us by the righteousness of Christ.
So, do I get the job? J.