Under Gods Command

Romans 13:8-9 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “So not steal” “Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Why is love for others called a debt? We are permanently in debt to Christ for the lavish love he has purred out on us. The only way we can even begin to repay this debt is by fulfilling our obligation to love others in turn. Because Christ’s love will always be infinitely greater than ours, we will always have the obligation to love our neighbors.

Somehow many of us have gotten the idea that self-love is wrong. But if this were the case, it would be pointless to love our neighbors as ourselves. But Paul explains what he means by self-love. Even if you have low self-esteem, you probably don’t willingly let yourself go hungry. You clothe yourself reasonably well. You make sure there’s a roof over your head if you can. You try not to let yourself be cheated or injured. And you get angry if someone tries to ruin your marriage.

Lets Bring it home: This is the kind of love we need to have for our neighbors. Do we see that others are fed, clothed, and housed as well as they can be? Are we concerned about issues of social justice? Loving others as our selves means to be actively working to see that their needs are met. Interestingly, people who focus on others rather than on themselves rarely suffer from low self-esteem.

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