Friday, October 2, 2015

Why is Love Such a Challenge?

When Jesus gave us the Golden Rule, He gave us something much more than a commandment. He gave us a challenge. It seems Christ knew that we enjoy a challenge. He said, “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.” (Luke 6.31-32) With these words Jesus challenged us to look at others as if we are looking in a mirror, and that is a great challenge.

Because of our fallen nature, we tend to look at others with a sense of comparison. “At least I don’t look like that.” “At least I don’t behave like that.” “At least I’m smarter and richer than that.” When was the last time we looked at someone else, as if we were looking at ourselves and said, “I know they are struggling with something nobody else knows.” “I know they feel like they can’t seem to catch a break.” “I know they just want us to trust them.” The point is, we all struggle with living our Christianity according to God’s commands. The only true comparison is “which” sin we have committed that someone else has not. We all sin, so why place our right to be loved ahead of anyone else?

Christianity was not the first to understand the concept of treating others the way we want to be treated, but that is the easy part. The challenge – what makes the rule ‘golden’ – is to place ourselves in someone else’s situation and love them. The challenge – what Christians are uniquely called to live – is to love even whom we think we know to be the most sinful. Sin is sin, and nobody is without sin – except God – so why not love. Are you up for the challenge?

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