Here is what God’s law (The Word as fulfilled in Jesus Christ) tells me:
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
~ Matthew 22:37-40
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
~ John 15:12-14
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much.
~ Matthew 5:43-46
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
~ John 13:35
Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
~ Romans 12:9-10
Obviously, the LAW IS LOVE! When I do not know what else to do . . . LOVE. When I feel confused and frustrated . . . LOVE. When I see injustice or selfishness around me . . . LOVE. Our first and primary responsibility as the people of God is not to solve problems, demonstrate God’s power and authority, or call people to repentance. Our first and primary responsibility is LOVE.
What does that look like? Remember, I want to know exactly what actions to take that will make a difference. It’s all right here:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
I ask myself these questions:
- Am I responding with patience and kindness?
- Am I reacting out of jealousy or pride?
- Are my words rude, irritable, or self-centered?
- Am I tracking the wrongs committed by others?
- Am I celebrating whenever truth wins – even if I was the one who was wrong?
- Have I given up or lost faith or am I still hopeful that things can and will be better?