Once we meet someone and we like the person, we can “fall in love” with the person and base the interaction with the person on a romantic relationship. We all know, or I hope we all know, that being in a romantic relationship or “being in love” is simply living a fantasy, hoping that the other person remains the imagined ideal person we fell in love with. Of course, every relationship experience disappointments, which is the awakening to the realization that the other person had undesired qualities that were not seen during the romantic phase of the relationship. This happens to everyone. At this point, it is up each partner to make a commitment to maintian the relationship in spite of the disappointment, or move to separate ways, hoping to find their next “fantasized ideal partner” elsewhere, only to experiene the same cycle of disappointment all over again.
This is the same with our relationship with Jesus. Living the Gospel is erroneously perceived many times as a “romantic relationship” with Jesus. Not in a sexual nature, of course, but in the “fantasy nature” by perceiving Jesus as the “Savior” , “Best friend”, and “King”. Although these adjectives can be applied to Jesus in some way (not personal but indirectly), it does not apply to what Jesus actually taught us to do. Jesus made it very clear that we are supposed to “Love our neighbors as we love ourselves” which he identified as equal to “Loving God with all of our being”. This is the main message and number one commandment. Under these commandments ” is the Law based on”. And then he used His own behavior as primary examples of how to “love our neighbors”. So living a lifestyle where we adore and praise Jesus for saying nice things, and identifying Him as “our Lord and Savior” does little to manifest his True Message. I have quoted this before and I will quote it again, Jesus said “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation , but “he who does the will of my Father”.
Jesus did not command us to praise him with words and a “romantic relationship”, but to praise Him, adore Him, and Honor Him with our actions: Loving our neighbors as we love ourselves”. Love and Praise Jesus “In Spirit and Truth”. In John 3:19, right after Jesus spoke His most famous words (John 3:16) Jesus says something that reflects His true message evenmore: ” 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (selfish lifestyle), 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth (serve others) comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” Jesus made it clear that we must “live by the truth” of loving others as we love ourselves (through serving) in order to please God. Let us praise Jesus, not by lifting our hands alone, but by putting them into action.