By Lisa Nordell-Detres
What is your vision of a perfect world? Most visualize a civilized life where nobody hurts anyone else, where everybody works for the common good, where there is no poverty, crime or injustice. Interestingly, that is the way God made the world to be. He also built free will into that Utopian dream, because He didn’t want us to be robots incapable of love.
The only law at the beginning was that the man and woman were not to eat a certain fruit. Breaking that only rule seemed pretty harmless; after all, the fruit was not even poisonous. The first people who lived in the Garden of Eden chose freely to disobey the only decree, thus creating an unfortunate chain of events that led to the chaos in which we now live.
Many years later, God delivered to the ancient nation of Israel the most perfect set of laws, the Mosaic Law, which included the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20). If God’s people followed these laws, they would enjoy a civilization that, while imperfect, could be like Paradise . The interesting thing about The Law is that God knew when He gave them; humanity would be incapable of keeping the laws perfectly. After all, the first couple couldn’t even obey one simple rule!
When asked what was the greatest of all the commandments, Jesus boiled it all down to love: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 22:37, 39) Keeping this law of love seems simple enough and will surely make the world a better place.
The key is that you can’t love your neighbor or even yourself until you learn to love God. That is why we are here, learning about God so that we can enjoy a closer relationship with Him and love Him for who He is. After you start loving God, the ability to love others and yourself will come along.
Lisa Nordell-Detres is a mother or four, pastor’s wife and has worked in the garment and customer service industries in southern California. Besides writing, Lisa enjoys cooking, sewing, organic gardening, hiking, skiing and doing most anything outside.
Lisa was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Fashion Design from Woodbury University and an MBA from California State University at Northridge. Lisa, her husband and their youngest child now live in central Oregon.