What’s Your METL?

Among the plethora of military acronyms is METL: Mission Essential Task List. Simply put, METL is a list of things that are nonnegotiable to accomplish a mission.

If we read Mark 12:28–31 with military mission in mind, we could say it includes the METL for a Christ-follower. First on the list: Love the Lord. Second on the list: Love your neighbor. Sisters, our METL is held in these two sentences.

Put yourself in the place of the scribe questioning Jesus. “Which commandment is the most important of all?” He was not expecting a simple answer. He knew there are 365 prohibitions and 248 positive commands in the Torah or Jewish Law. But the answer Jesus gives was both succinct and compelling.

Jesus’s words emphasize too that following him is not about a list of things we must do for God’s approval. Following Jesus is a call to himself. It is a call to love him supremely and to love others as we love ourselves. Loving others is the visible expression and practical display of my love for God. It is how God’s love spills over in my life.

At first, it would seem that Jesus made serving God easier by narrowing the list of commands from 613 to two. But when followed wholeheartedly, these two commands inspire an unlimited number of actions. The METL of a military unit is usually short and simple to read, but it can can be complex and challenging to accomplish, and must be continuously practiced. The METL Jesus provides for our lives is short and easy to memorize, but we never can check off the list as complete. We make every effort, by faith in Christ, to increase our love for God and others.

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