Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody's business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy. ― Thomas Merton
The Pharisee takes as his aim keeping the law rather than becoming the kind of person whose deeds naturally conform to the law...Jesus does not call us to do what He did, but to be as He was, permeated with love. Then the doing of what He did and said becomes the natural expression of who we are in Him....It is the very core of what we are or can become in His fellowship, not something we do. -- Dallas Willard
'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments --Jesus
I stumbled across all these words today. The connection between them is the part that seems especially important...the part that drew me back here to wonder out loud.
What I think I hear is this: on my own, no matter how hard I try, I am simply unable to love like Jesus. I can not love others and I can not love myself...not really. My love is a skinny little anemic wannabe love compared to the big Agape Love of the Kingdom Come. My love weighs its options, my love makes judgements, my love holds back and stays safe. In all honesty, my love saves itself for the ones that love it first....just in case.
My only hope for big Love is to focus on loving God with everything I have in me. The more I look AT Him, the more I look LIKE Him (2 Corinthians 3:18.) When I lean into God, drink Him in, rest in His presence, abide in Him, walk with Him and talk with Him, I cannot help but be changed. Fruit of the Spirit and Fruit of the Vine. It isn't about trying harder to "be good," it is about loving Him more and, by doing so, becoming a Lover like Him. Transformation is real, but not my job.
What is my job? To love God with all my "passion and prayer and muscle and intelligence." (Luke 10:27, The Message)