Loving God Means More Than Knowing about Him, but Not Less

Our hearts and souls can’t fulfill the Great Commandment without our minds.

Jesus was once asked to identify the greatest and most important thing for followers of God to do (Matt. 22:36–37). His answer—“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”—is quite famous.

Had others been asked this question, I suspect we might have seen a variety of answers. Perhaps someone would identify one of the Ten Commandments, such as having no other gods before God or keeping the Sabbath holy.

But not Jesus. Jesus told us that the greatest command is to love God. He says this is first among all the commands. Out of all we are to do, the primary thing is standing in a relation of loving intimacy toward God.

Now, it may strike us as a bit odd to be commanded to love. If so, it’s likely because we have in mind a thin view of love so dominant in our culture today, one that sees it as a matter of mere feelings. It’s odd to be commanded to feel a certain way since we can’t always cajole ourselves into those feelings.

Clearly Jesus has a richer, more multidimensional view of love in mind. It encompasses the entirely of our hearts, souls, and minds. This may involve feelings, but it engages all of who we are. I suggest love, in this thick sense, is about the pursuit more than the feelings we may experience. We seek and pursue our beloved in the context of the kind of relationship it is.

Obsessed with knowledge

According to Timothy Pickavance, professor of philosophy at Biola University’s Talbot School of Theology, our pursuit of God is deeply connected to knowledge. Knowledge is crucial for the love and pursuit of God. In a world that prioritizes mere feelings of love over the knowledge of truth, Pickavance’s Knowledge for …

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