In Yesterday’s post, Enmity and Discernment, I mentioned the icon at the front entrance of our church, which I must pass every day that I’m in the building. I cannot get to my office or to the sanctuary without passing by my Lord who is telling me:
“I give to you a new commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” (John 13:34)
Loving others is a command, not just an appropriate reaction to others. It is to be a conscious choice of how we treat others, not an emotional response to how we feel about them. The love we show them is not based upon how they treat us, or what they think about us – if it is, then we are behaving just like any sinner, but not like a Christian (Luke 6:32).
If we obey the Gospel command, it will have an effect on our heart. What effect might it have on us if I love others as Christ loves me?
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever;
the ordinances of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. (Psalm 19:7-11)
Fulfilling Christ’s commandment impacts my soul by reviving it; my mind be giving it wisdom; my heart by filling it with joy; and my eyes by giving me true vision. Every aspect of my being is touched by Christ when I obey His command to love others.