So, in a previous post, I began “Tackling the Love Problem.” Then I wrote about “The incredible primacy of love… It’s more important than we think.”
What is the “love problem”? It’s quite simple actually. Jesus said all people would know us by our love. But, when you ask people what they think about Christians, love is far, far down the list… if it even makes the list. We have a love problem.
Obviously, the “love problem” is not something that can actually be “tackled” in a few blog posts. This series will barely scratch the surface. In fact, I don’t think writing or speaking about love can ever do anything more than scratch the surface, and that’s part of the problem. (But, I’ll get to that later.)
As we think about this love problem, we need to recognize and accept that we already have everything that we need to love others. There’s no reason to wait for God to give us anything more before we love others. We don’t even have to wait for God to tell us to love someone; he’s already told us over and over to love them.
Let’s start with that last point. “Love one another”… “love your neighbors”… “love you enemies”… Together, these are probably the most ubiquitous commands found in the New Testament. We find them on the lips of Jesus in the Gospel. Paul writes these instructions in several of his letters. James includes it as the “royal law.” Of course, John focuses on love in his letters. Peter even includes the command to love five times in his short letter (1 Peter).
So, the command to love is common among Christians. It’s a command found throughout the New Testament Scriptures, and definitely applies to us as well. As a command, we must understand that it requires response on our part. In other words, there’s something we must do. (But, again, I’ll get to that later.)
Note that these commands are given to all recipients of these various books and letters. They are not just given to the more mature believers. Even the youngest, newest, least mature follower of Jesus Christ is command to love.
Why can the authors of the New Testament (and any of us, actually) command/instruct other believers – any other believer – to love others? Because anyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ – who is a child of God – has everything needed to respond to that command. Why? Because the only thing needed is the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit provides everything needed for the child of God to love others. Everything. We don’t need more of anything. We’re no lacking in anything. We have all of the Holy Spirit, and he is all that we need.
So, why is there still a “love problem”? Why do we not love?
Series on the “Love Problem”
- Tackling the Love Problem
- The incredible primacy of love… It’s more important than we think
- We have everything we need to love others
- Love is easily recognized as love
- So, why does the church have a love problem?