“Love God, Love People More” is a new phrase popping up on T-shirts and bumper stickers everywhere. Emphasis is added on the word MORE as folks proudly boast this meaningful life lesson. Actually, their words are belittling to God and His Word. This phrase wreaks of humanism and self-righteousness. Once again, people think they can out-god God. Scripture is clear on this issue. The first four commandments instruct us how to honor our Holy Creator by loving and glorifying Him above anyone or anything.
Exodus 20:2-7 states, “And God spoke all these words: I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”
Jesus further emphasized the importance of loving God above everything or anyone. Matthew 22: 36-40 reads, “ ‘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 first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’ ”
If Daniel loved people more than God he wouldn’t have had a problem eating the king’s meat even though it had been sacrificed to idols. Daniel would have gladly eaten the meat so as to not offend the king. Shadrack, Meshach and Abedengo would have gladly bowed down to a graven image of Nebuchadnezzar. Why not? They would have wanted to show that they loved Nebuchadnezzar “more” than God. Of course, they would have bowed down to Nebuchadnezzar’s golden image of himself.
Perhaps these T-shirt, bumper sticker activists think they are helping us all understand the importance of loving each other. God’s Word is too harsh and judgmental. They know best. They know how to genuinely love people more than God ever could. What they fail to realize is that they are doing just the opposite. We can never learn to love each other until we first learn to love God. When people love each other or themselves more than God they are headed towards disappointment, emptiness, and separation from God.
To instruct others to love people more than God is heresy. Of the 31,102 verses in the Bible not one supports their view. This message is dangerous as it attempts to undermine God’s authority and His relationship with His children. We must put away these childish ideas and stand firm on the unfailing Word of God.
Prayer: “Help us Father God to learn to love You and put You first in our lives. Forgive us for our arrogance and self-righteousness. Teach us to love each other while still being true to You. Help our unbelief and guide us as we live each day to glorify Your name. Amen.”