Go Figure!


Reading Time: 2 minutes

 Bible Reading: Romans 13:8-10

When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. Romans 13:8, The Message

IN THE MOOD to amaze your friends and astound your family? Well, then, try this simple (but cool) trick:

  1. Choose a number-any number.
  2. Double it.
  3. Add twelve to that number.
  4. Divide your new number by two, then subtract your original number.
  5. Now add one.

What answer did you come up with? Seven, right? If you followed the instructions at every step, your answer will be seven. It will always be seven. Whether you start with 1 or 500 million, you’ll always come out with the number seven. Always. Every time. That’s how the problem is designed. You can’t miss as long as you do the math right. Go ahead, try it with another number!

Other than being a fun way to dazzle your friends with your intellect, what’s the point? Well, it’s this: You can do almost the same thing with God’s commands. But you don’t have to remember five steps, just one. Here it is. Ready?

  1. Love others.

There. That’s it! If you always do the loving thing, you will automatically do the right thing. The Bible says, “If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law” (Romans 13:8). That’s because you can’t love someone else and steal from him at the same time. You can’t lovingly murder someone (no matter what you may see on daytime talk shows!). You can’t love someone and cheat him.

The right choice can become a lot clearer if you always remember to love others. If you do that, you will “fulfill all the requirements of God’s law.” And you don’t even have to worry about getting the math right!

REFLECT: Name all the steps it takes to obey every commandment. (Sorry. That was a trick question. There’s only one step—remember it?)  How does love fulfill God’s law? Whom do you love? Whom do you not love? Can you obey God without acting in love toward someone? Why or why not?

ACT: Try the math puzzle with your friends, and use it to remind yourself that loving others fulfills all of God’s other commandments.

PRAY: “God, thanks for making it simple, so I only have to remember one thing if I want to obey your commands. Please show me how to do the loving thing today when I’m with___________.”


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