"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." (Matt 22:36-40)Now, of course, there is a lot to say about this simple response from Christ. In it we have "the whole Law and the Prophets". We have the two greatest commandments. We have actually the single commandment over all--love. We have this singular command to love God "with all your mind" (rather than the currently more popular "without thinking much"). There is lots of good stuff in there.
I noted something, however, that I never caught before and never heard anyone mention before. It's right there in "the great and foremost commandment". We all know that we are commanded to love God. Mission One. Top of the list. Got it. We're supposed to do this with all that is within us--heart, soul, mind ... everything. Got it. But look at the interesting connection there. In Jesus's statement of the Great Commandment in the Law, He links "love" with heart, soul, and mind. Now, we're all pretty comfortable with thinking of love connected with the heart and even love connected with the soul. How often do you connect love with the mind?
This is the same connection Paul made in 1 Corinthans 8. "Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies." (1 Cor 8:1). Now, we've established that the Bible favors knowledge, so Paul is not saying, "Be ignorant." He's saying that knowledge without love makes you arrogant. Conversely, then, knowledge with love is good. That's the connection--right thinking that loves. Using our minds to love God. That's the idea in the Great Commandment. Think to the glory of God.
We have this trite "Live, laugh, love" motto floating around these days popularized by, of all things, a chef. Perhaps we need to use a different model. Perhaps we ought to consider "Think, love, live" as a Christian version. Certainly the notion of connecting thinking with love might be a new idea for some. But Jesus seemed to make that connection. Shouldn't we?