“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:8-10)
This can be read backwards and forward: forwards, it says love fulfills the law, so Christians who walk in love, having nailed our sin to the cross, need not fear the commandment any longer. Backwards, it also says love restrains us from sin. Jesus put it this way, if we love him, we will keep his commandments. Thus the law of love does not excuse us to behave wickedly on the rationale that we have warm, fuzzy feelings for God and the people we are walking on.
The old law operated on fear: obey and you will be blessed, disobey and you will be cursed. Elsewhere Paul warns us we are still subject to the laws of reaping and sowing, but Christianity seeks to move us beyond the beginning of wisdom (fear of the Lord) to love, the true heart of the law. Do no wrong, seek the best interests of everyone just as you would your loved ones. Place the greater priority on the needs of our families, our friends, and our community, and all the Church rather than focusing on our own selfish wants.
If Christians consistently loved like that, we would change the world.
Lord, strengthen our spiritual muscles, so we might crucify the flesh, all malice, ill will and bitterness, pride, and any selfish motive. Give us instead hearts full of love to seek the good of others. Cleanse our thoughts. Show us any roadblocks that keep us from walking this path with you, and move our hearts so we will surrender those things to you and allow you to change us. Refine us in your love today and grant us discernment and wisdom to know your good and righteous will. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.