The passage in 2 John ends with, “live in love.” Even without the political insanity, COVID, a struggling economy, elevated racial tensions, and many other issues, we do not “live in love” very well. Bluntly, we’re awful at it. All too often we get in our own way of living in love. We struggle with what that might even mean.
Take many of the statements aimed at (then) President Trump and (now) President Biden. Most of the ones I see and have even heard were not a witness of love. I have friends on “the left” and “the right” who operate as if I am on “their side”. Therefore, I am “blessed” to hear it all. It is not that we cannot have different opinions on the best paths forward, but when we assail a person rather than an issue we are not living in love.
The racial tension and bias with responses against them were overwhelmingly displayed to the entire world showed just how much we Christians need to live in love so as to reconcile the people of the world with one another and with God.
There is also the even harder aspect, and that this living in love with God. Without question, God is love. We have the image of God in us. Therefore, we should be doing well by living in love. Except we don’t.
We are not unique in that. The book of Hosea, along with far too many others, shows that our human selfishness, our twisted (sinful?) version of self-love keeps us from fully loving God.
When Jesus summarized the Law with, “Love God. Love Others,” we often say that it’s easy to love God, and hard to love others. In some ways that is true, as long as we are talking about superficial love. Superficial love is, “God is awesome,” without “God, guide me into your will,” and doing it.
The doing it part is the same difficulty we have with people. Loving people by raising flags or sharing posts “showing” our love is easy. Doing, however, is something completely different.
Love God, yes. Ask God for guidance, and then follow it. It seems reasonable that once that happens, loving people will become much easier, as God will change our hearts so that we are better equipped to do so.
- What is God calling you to do? (Note: there isn’t a question of God calling to something.)
- What is your honest self-assessment of how you are loving God?
- What is your honest self-assessment of how you are loving others?