Put on Your Oxygen Mask First
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children.” - Deuteronomy 6:5-7
How many times have you heard flight attendants give their spiel about putting on your oxygen mask FIRST before helping someone else with theirs? While it's something I now tune out from my beloved Southwest flight attendants, I’ve never thought about that regulation being applicable to something often emphasized in the Bible.
In today’s verse, we hear how we should imprint God’s commandments to love Him on our hearts, and then (but not before) onto the hearts of others. While the verse’s primary message could be for you superhuman Mommas out there busting it to raise babies up in the Word, as a childless woman, I really take it to heart as an across-the-board message to MODEL first, TELL second. Rather than practice what we preach, the action should take place first: Practice THEN preach. It’s easier to preach about the importance of fully loving God, and not be the one who models that love to those who are doing or saying something we don’t agree with. Because here’s the hard-hitting truth: if we aim to fully love God, we must fully love others. Does anyone else feel the gut punch in that?
I can’t in the same breath attempt to preach the love and Word of God while condemning or judging another. I can’t in clear conscience refuse to forgive someone for wronging me when I continually say how thankful I am that the Lord forgives my transgressions and shortcomings with each new sunrise. Falling short or making a mistake when I call myself a Christian is not what could label me as a hypocrite, but saying I love God and then not loving my neighbor without a doubt will. Today’s truth reminds me that If I aim to love God with all my heart, that means showing that love in my interactions with others, making sure they see Christ’s loving image in me.
“Let’s not just talk about love, let’s practice real love. This is the only way we’ll know we’re living truly, living in God’s reality.” - 1 John 3:18-19
Weekly Challenge: Let’s aim to put on our ‘masks’ FIRST before correcting or directing someone else.