If anyone has known or tried to love, especially an enemy, you know that it goes against every fiber of your being and well, it can be just plain tiring. So, why then, are we commanded to love?
When Christ came on the scene He spread a new kind of gospel message, one of love. Love for the poor and the orphan, the widow and the downcast. During this time, Christ really only gave two commands: “So [Jesus] answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” (Luke 10:27)
That’s it. See, Christianity isn’t about a bunch or rules, as I sometimes hear people complain. Especially not after Jesus came. Consider that in the Old Testament the Jewish people had 613 commandments to follow.
But do I have to love? Well, it’s up to you. But the more you know Christ, the more you will want to.
There is nothing in my heart, mind, or soul that wants to love anyone. Apart from Christ, I am hate, selfishness, anger and pride. Maybe you’re not, but ask any of my old friends and they’ll definitely tell you how awful I once was. However, at the moment that I accepted Christ into my life, my old nature was gone and Christ’s nature had become a part of me. Now, I don’t have to follow a bunch of rules, I want to. Why? Christ paid a painful and shameful price for me to be free. Not only that but He gave me these “rules” or guidelines only because He loves me and wants to protect me. But again, there are only 2 commands to follow: Love God and love others. If I am doing this, I will be obeying all of God’s laws. Think of the 10 commandments. Will I use God’s name in vain if I love Him? Will I honor my parents if I am loving them? Will I murder if I am loving even my enemies? The list goes on and on. That’s why Jesus says that all the laws are summed up in this [love].
Is it easy to love? No way! I fail everyday, but I can come to Him and seek forgiveness and He gives to all who ask.
I cannot make my heart, my mind, or my soul love God or people on my own. I need His help each and every day. Loving people is tough, even when God is there reminding you to speak kindly or to remain calm during conflict. Trying to love on your own really will suck the life out of you. You’ll fail every time! Why not allow Christ to love through you?