Just on statistics alone, Australians love God a lot less than they used to. Declared belief in the Christian God, and membership of churches, has “dropped through the floor” in recent decades. Sure, some of that church involvement may have been just cultural, but a good amount of it would also have been real – Australians love God less!
Does this mean that Australians love people more?….
Loving other people is spoken about a lot these days – either romantically or sexually, or often as simply “letting a person do whatever they want, and not questioning or judging them”, and sometimes as “doing good to people”. The question is, is this really loving?… – i.e., is it really for the good and blessing of the other person? Even doing good to others can often be for selfish reasons – i.e., to get moral or material “pay-back”.
Jesus said that the first commandment is to love God, with all our heart, mind, soul and strength; and the second, to love our neighbour as ourself (Mk 12:29-31). He meant that we are to follow them in that order – i.e., that we can only love other people truly if we first truly love God. This is because, when we love God, we love to do His good will, which tells us how to love others in a true and unselfish way.
We can all do this because God has first loved us, giving His Son Jesus Christ to pay for and forgive all of our selfishness through His death on the cross, reshaping our lives to love God and others truly (1Jn 4:7-12).
Grace and cheers, Jonathan