One Thing Matters

Romans 13:8-14

If you love your neighbor, you see, you have fulfilled the law. Commandments like ‘don’t commit adultery, don’t kill, don’t steal, don’t covet’—and any other commandment—are summed up in this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Love does no wrong to its neighbor; so love is the fulfillment of the law.

In Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism, he encourages you to try to think of the one question which, if answered, will automatically answer a hundred other questions.

That’s kinda what Paul is doing here.

In this age of information insanity and sensory overload, we could use a healthy dose of simplicity. Instead of trying to keep up with the hundreds of things you’re supposed to be doing, all the rules to not break, we as people filled with Christ’s Spirit are really to focus on one thing when it comes to people—love them.

Biblical love is not of the cheap, sappy, fleeting, emotional variety. It is described as willing the good of the other. To will the good of others, out of your own love for God, will automatically answer a hundred other questions which may come up regarding how to act in specific circumstances. Your hope and desire for others to experience the joy of the Gospel will outweigh your selfish desires, as well as your potential to be offended easily.

It’s amazing how replete the NT is with the admonishment to focus on following Christ, the way of love, and not to focus on keeping all the rules, the way of law; yet we still seem to go against this. We still hold people to the outward conformity more often than simply encouraging their connection to Christ Himself, and letting His Spirit take over. And this with mucho prayer.

I love the New Living Translation’s version of verse 14:

Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.

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