What does love require of me?  What does love require of you?  It’s a seemingly simple question, right?  Yet rarely do we approach issues by asking this question.  Instead we focus on the legality of if something is a sin or not.  We align our thoughts and stances with a chosen political party.  We back what feels safe, comfortable, and easiest.  What does love require of me?  It’s a clarifying but terrifying question that should stand guard over our consciences.  This question is scary because the answer probably isn’t comfortable, it may not fit the narrative of your political party, and it probably won’t be easy.  This question closes loopholes.  It exposes our hypocrisy.  It stands as judge and jury.  It’s so simple, but it’s so inescapably demanding.

See when we start asking this question we will notice our mindset shifts from inward to outward.  The answer isn’t this is what’s best for me, but instead that’s what love requires of me because that’s what’s best for them.  When we start living this out our obedience to God begins to be connected to a “who” instead of a “me”.  Instead of just focusing on doing right by God, we are now focusing on doing right by our neighbor which in turn brings glory to God.

We can make following Jesus pretty complicated, but really it’s pretty simple.  Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37-40, “37 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Jesus is saying love me with all your heart.  How can you do that?  Love your neighbor.  Ok well how do I do that?  Ask yourself what does love require of me?   Maybe we would stop cross-examining our Bibles looking for loopholes.  Instead, we would search scripture seeking to better understand how to properly love.  We would listen even if what we needed to hear isn’t easy.  We would run to the side of our brothers and sisters no matter their race, or ethnicity.  Our marriages would be a competition to see who could submit more!  This kind of love moved the needle once for Jesus.  I believe it can again.  I believe it has to again.

What does love require of me?  What does love require of you?

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Central Christian Church | Mount Vernon, Illinois