Another Important Conversation With My Younger Self: John13:35 (and Matthew 22:36-40)
by Kurt Bennett
Published on May 10, 2023
Categories: Spiritual Growth

Another Important Conversation With My Younger Self: John13:35 (and Matthew 22:36-40)

by Kurt Bennett

Young Kurt: So . . . you’re back again. Or I’m back again. Or my future me is back . . . however this works.

Old Kurt: Yep.

Young Kurt: What is it this time?

Old Kurt: I want to talk with you about becoming good at things.

Young Kurt lights up. He loves to become good at things. Over his lifetime he’s already spent hours in the gym honing his basketball skills, logged hours and hours of flight time in his hang glider, trained miles and miles on the road preparing for running races, paid for lessons and invested huge chunks of time improving his tennis in preparation for tournaments, logged hundred plus mile weeks on his bicycle preparing for bike races, spent hours on his Apple IIc mastering video games. Yes he loves to become good at things.

He lives to become good at things.

Young Kurt sits up and leans in: So you’re going to share with me secrets from the future about how to become good at things?

Old Kurt: Not exactly . . .

Young Kurt slumps a bit.

Old Kurt: So, because I’m you, I’m aware of your passion to become good at things, to be successful at something, to master whatever it is that you’re interested in. I’m here just to say, there’s this one thing, it’s the most important thing there is to become good at. You’ve never really thought of it that way yet but there’s something you’re going to want to become good at above everything else, far above everything else. You can use that passion for excellence, you can weaponize that OCD that’s a part of you, you can focus that laser beam of yours on this one thing.

Young Kurt looks annoyed: Well, what is it?

Old Kurt: Love.

Young Kurt looks a little confused: Love? That’s it? Just love?

Old Kurt: Yes, love. I mean, I know you have to make a living, so it’s good to excel at work. But even more important, much more important, there’s love. Just as soon as you figure out how to focus your passion to excel at love, your life is going to change. Your life is going to improve dramatically. I know you know what Jesus said when they asked him which commandment was the most important.

“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.” Matthew 22:36-40

Old Kurt continues: Love. You want to excel at something? Excel at this—excel at loving God and loving the people around you.

Your life will never be the same.

Later you’re going to become completely convinced that Jesus is saying people will know whether or not you’re a disciple of his by the way you love God and the people around you. And you’ll come to believe that’s how you yourself will know whether or not you’re a disciple of his. So right now, just ask yourself, “What am I known for? What do I know about myself? Do I love God with everything I have? Do I love the people around me really well?” (John 13:35)

Loving Jesus, loving God, with everything we have, and loving the people around us really well: that’s everything.

That’s what God wants from us, for us to humbly surrender our lives to Him in this way.

That’s the meaning of life.

That’s the whole of scripture.

Kurt Cameron Bennett is a writer best known as the author of the book Love Like Jesus. After attending church and studying the Bible for most of his adult life, he was challenged by a pastor to study Jesus. That led to an obsessive seven-year deep dive. After pouring over Jesus’ every interaction with another human being, he realized he was doing a much better job of studying Jesus’ words than he was following Jesus’ words and example. The honest and fearless revelations of Bennett’s own moral failures affirm he wrote Love Like Jesus for himself as much as for others.

Before becoming an author he served as a firefighter in Medford, Oregon. He was born in Chicago, Illinois. He currently lives in Hillsboro, Oregon, just a few miles from his son Gabe, daughter (-in-law) Charise, and grandson Andrew. He has another son Nate and daughter (-in-law) Anastasia who live in Sammamish, Washington.

His blog, God Running is a place for anyone who wants to (or even anyone who wants to want to) love Jesus more deeply, follow Jesus more closely, and love people the way Jesus wants us to.

Feature Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Discover more from Christian Grandfather Magazine

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading