I know what I should do. But I don’t always do it. Sometimes it seems like the more I know that I should do something, the less I do it.
Why is that?
I have two study Bibles, one that I bought and another that Pastor Dan gave me (thanks Pastor!). One of the Bibles (not the one Pastor gave me) has lots of little notes and some of the notes have lots of little ‘shoulds’. One note tells me that my love for others “should” be like God’s love for me. Another note says that it is my “job” to love people this way.
It’s true, it is my Christian duty to love people and I should do it, but the fact that it’s true doesn’t enable me to do it. It doesn’t encourage or move me to love them either. In fact, it makes something in me bristle and want to turn away.
Jesus didn’t come down from Heaven and live among us just to hand us over to the ‘shoulds’. He certainly didn’t suffer and die just to hand us over.
Jesus came to free us!
He came so that our love for others can be like His – not should but can. This is Gospel-born love. When we know Jesus’ love for us – the kind of love that walks and talks with us, touches and heals and changes us, that suffered and died for us so that we can be forgiven and set free from sin and death to live forever with Him – then we also know, and rejoice in knowing, that we can share this love with others. We are invited and enabled and honored to participate in the sacrificial, merciful, unconditional and enduring love of Jesus Christ.
Our love for others is in response to this bleeding-and-dying-and-Rising-again-Victorious kind of love that God first had for us – for you and for me.
Praise The Lord!