Thursday, November 04, 2004

Biblical love...

Most people know of the Old Testament commandment that says for us to love our neighbor as ourselves. But read in John's gospel where one of Christ's last words with his disciples was, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:34-35 NKJV).

Now, think about those two commandments and what is being required. Don't you think it is much easier to love your neighbor as yourself? I do. But think about the new commandment and what is different about it from the first. Christ loved sacrificially. He also loved unconditionally and passionately. On top of all that, He forgave...not just once but ongoing, He was patient and (the kicker for me) He didn't mind being interrupted! Have you ever pondered what this kind of love will cost oneself? My observantions have been that it is life changing! Any time love is pursued, the pursuer can never be the same, for it is the nature of love to transform. I'll leave you with this thought so eloquently stated by David Thomas, "Love is the most God-like state of the soul. God is not faith or hope; God is love; The Eternal does not believe or anticipate, but he does love--he is love. Love is the life of the soul. It warms every vein and beats in every pulse."


Bob & Claire said...

Wow, something to think about! It is so much harder to love sacrificially than just "as you love yourself", but I had never thought of the comparison. Good point! I was so glad to see that you posted some more--I was getting worried! Keep them coming! : )

Roger R. said...

Interesting isn't it... we are called to 'love others as we love ouselves', and yet is seems in the early years of the 21st century that so many seem to hate themselves. If self-love is absent, how can one love in this way?

All across the world we find legions who destroy themselves in all kinds of terrible ways. No wonder we find that attitude reflected in inter-personal relationship. "Who can save us?"... Rom 8.