Sunday, February 26, 2012

Who Do You Love?

I heard a couple of things recently that made me think. I know that can be dangerous, and it sometimes gets me in trouble, but I thought anyway. The first was a statement by an individual that he wasn't indebted to anyone. The second was a Facebook post to the effect that if you want a world where true love is possible, you must allow each person to freely choose who to love. While I can understand the sentiment behind both statements, I believe that they are anti-thetical to the way a follower of Jesus should see things.

The statement about not being in debt to anyone is directly contradicted by Paul's admonition in Romans 13:8 to owe nothing to anyone except love. Alan Knox has a good post on this here. As those who are loved by the Father and indwelt by his Spirit, we do have one debt. We owe love to our fellow believers, our brothers and sisters.

In Alan's post, he states that, "I can’t choose who to love." That leads me to the second statement. As followers of the one who gave his life for us, we have only one choice, to love. Anything else is disobedience to our Master. In John 15, Jesus tells us that his command is to love each other as he has loved us. Since our Savior's love led him to lay down his life for us, we are to do the same for our brothers and sisters. Doesn't sound like freely choosing who to love, does it? Jesus also states that the second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor. He then goes on to state that our neighbor is anyone who we come in contact with. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus takes the whole idea of love to the extreme when he tells us to even love our enemies! Sounds to me like he leaves us with no choice. In John 13:35, Jesus says that the world will know that we belong to him because of our love.

There is entirely too much pain and suffering in this world, much of it caused by a lack of love. Unfortunately, this is also true among those who claim to follow the King who founded his kingdom on sacrificial love. Those who are not followers of Jesus know that we are supposed to be different. Many of them also know that the main thing that is supposed to distinguish us is love. Is it any wonder they look at the church and feel that we have nothing to offer them?

Brothers and sisters, we have a debt. It is to love. We have no choice. We are to love everyone who crosses our path. Anything else is blatant disobedience to our Lord and Master.

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