“One of them, a lawyer, spoke up: ‘Sir, which is the most important command in the laws of Moses?’ Jesus replied, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. The second most important is similar, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the other commandments and demands of the prophets stem from these two laws and are fulfilled if you obey them. Keep only these and you will find that you are obeying all the others.” Matthew 22:35-40 The Living Bible
When I was in my late teens and early 20’s I participated in and then worked as a counselor at a Christian Athletic camp called Summer’s Best Two Weeks. Ages of the kids were from first grade through seniors in high school. The main idea of the camp was (and still is) that it used athletic competition as an analogy for life’s hardships and taught the kids how to deal with and overcome diversity with a Christian worldview. It was awesome – and I met my future wife there.
We taught the kids to cheer for and respect the people they competed against. We taught them the value of service to one another and chewed on biblical principles in daily bible study. We had a week of athletic coaching and instruction followed by a week of canoe meets, swim meets, wrestling meets and track meets.
In my opinion, the greatest value that Summer’s Best Two Weeks gave the kids was in their motto, “I’m Third”, taken from those verses in Matthew 22. It was a super easy way to get everyone on board with the idea that “it’s not about me” and to look for God in their everyday lives.
So after a week of meditating on James 3:13-18 and the value of heavenly wisdom, perhaps it would help to remember this very distilled version as we conclude:
Father God, thank You for Your many blessings in my life. Please help me to put You first, others second and myself last. Thank You for Your son Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.