[Today, three brief excerpts on the theme of the teachings of Jesus, all from my latest book, You Did Not Choose Me, But I Chose You. Below is the first of the passages and here are the second and third. Here is how to obtain the book.]

What if there was an anti-gospel in which the commands of the devil were spelled out in quotable verses?

The commands of this anti-gospel might include:

“Watch for infractions against you and nurture hostility toward those who commit them.”

“Evaluate people in terms of status. Undermine those with equal or higher status than you and fight to keep down those whose status is lower.”

“Compare yourself unfavorably to other people. Pine for what they have and hate them for having it.”

“Minimize the specialness of your life. Discard the special opportunities it presents to you and discredit its special calling.”

When we learn that Jesus said, “Obey my commands,” we place the stress on “commands” and we hear this injunction as a burden. We ought to place the stress on “my” and hear this for what it is: a liberation. Before Jesus gave us his way, we were already obeying a set of commands.