There are two Commandments which are foundational for all the other Commandments. Sometimes, they are referred to as the 'Royal Law'. One of them says, 'Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. The other one says, 'Love your neighbor as yourself'. Jesus says that all the other Commandments hinge on these two Commandments.
I have asked several people about their ability to keep the 10 Commandments. Many think they do a pretty good job, but some know they have missed the mark. But I have noticed that when I ask people about the first Commandment, which God says, 'You shall have no other gods before Me.' people say they are obeying that one. I will ask them if they think about God 24/7, to which they respond saying that they do. It's interesting because in earlier parts of the conversation, I know they don't have a clue of what the Gospel is. So, why is it that we think we love God when we really don't love Him at all, or maybe just in a small way?
Much of it has to do with the word, 'love'. People relate the word love, with good feelings or good thoughts. Many times, in America, we think of loving something as enjoying something like ice cream or Chinese food. Even if that were true, would we really love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strengths?
I also think that people think of love as something passive. We could think of love as something that it isn't. We don't love a person strictly because we don't hate them (We think). Many think that they love God because they are not actively going around trying to take God or the Bible out of schools. They don't hate Him, so by default, they think they love Him. They are not shaking their fists at Him, so that means they love Him, right?
The Bible does tell us how we can know if we love Him. Our relationship with God is referred to as the 'vertical' relationship. Our relationship with others is the 'horizontal' relationships. If our relationship with God is correct, our relationships with others will be correct. If our relationship with God is broken, we will have broken relationships with others. It really is that simple to figure out.
' By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.' 1 John 3:10 ESV
'We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.' 1 John 3:14 ESV
'A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34,35 ESV
As we spend time with God, we will grow spiritually, and this will affect our relationships with other people. God gives a new heart to those who humbly come to Him and are sorry about their sins and trust in Him. God's Commandment to us is to believe in His Son, Jesus Christ and to love others (1 John 3:23).
Another way to look at what love is, is found also in 1 John 3:16 and 17. Jesus gives us the greatest example of love when He laid down His life for us, and now we are to love others by laying down our lives for them. Obviously, he is not talking about us dying for other people's sins, but this kind of love involves sacrifice. It will cost us something. If we really love though, we will want to make that sacrifice. It will be hard, but it is an evidence of love.