This wasn't what I was looking for when I sat down to write this morning, but, alas, God has another plan...
Adam Clarke (a British Methodist Theologian and Biblical Scholar), wrote one of the commentaries I refer to when I write my post. I would encourage you to read his commentary on Daniel 7 when you have time. Remember when reading this that the writer died in 1832. It will shed some light on a question I've had for many years (but that is for another post - but read it anyway - it does explain a lot).
I can remember how tired my children would make me when they were growing up - they would "wear me out" with questions, opinions and their idea of what the perfect parent should be. They would challenge my authority as they got older, yet in the end, they have almost all come to the conclusion that "Mom was right". There is a poem that both my sister and I keep as a remembrance of our mother..."Meanest Mother In The World". I am happy to report that it hold true for the both of us to this day. We did have a "Mean Mom" and we let her know that every change we could. We are also both very grateful that she (with the help of my Dad) succeeded in raising two very well-grounded daughters who have tried and are trying to do the same with our children. We each did it a little differently, but again, we can lay claim to the fact that we, too, are "Mean Moms".
We don't always like what God expects from us (and quite frankly, with the sacrifice He made, I'm more than happy to oblige). He asks us to love one another, be kind to one another. He asks us to honor Him and pray to Him and only Him, through Jesus. He asks that we spread His Word, do our share. He asks us to love Him with our whole heart and soul. Sounds simple, doesn't it?
Those two great commands given to us by Jesus are packed with a multitude of "do's" - there are no "don't". That is not to say that there are not things we shouldn't do - He just put a different spin on it (and yes, there are don'ts - they are written throughout His Word - but the focus is on the do's).
If we love "our neighbor" we won't gossip about them, will we? If we are kind to one another, we won't do thing what will deliberately hurt someone. If we honor God, we won't allow the enemy to walk freely through our day to day life (he may try, but all we need do is call on the name of Jesus and he will be gone). If we pray for others, we are putting them first, just as Jesus put us first. Get the picture?
When all is said and done, we will not be perfect little Christians running around in robes doing no wrong. We will make mistakes. We will not keep those commands. We are, however, forgiven! Jesus took care of that when He hung on the cross.
So give it a try today. Be just a little nicer to that person who makes you crazy. Be a little more understanding to the co-worker who has "issues" or the one who does nothing but complain. Be a little more patient with the fellow ahead of you in the check out line who can't read the sign -- that's THEIR problem, not yours! Don't feed into the negativity the enemy taunts you will - dive into the light that Jesus shines on you today and every day!!! And remember, the only thing you can really change is yourself!