Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8 NABRE
Paul in the text leading up to the quoted verse emphasizes love as a key characteristic of a Christian and following civil authority is in fact following God’s divine wisdom in how society is to be structured. We see God working to have appropriate leaders in the nation of Israel and Paul writes that following the civil authority is trusting God has put leaders in place to help and build society. The assumption of course is that leaders will always act in the public’s interest. So in a way Paul is instructing us to follow the law, knowing a civil society is a society that can lead to God and to follow God’s law. Paul pivoting to God’s laws, indicates we are called to follow the commandments, listing a few, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,” (Romans 13:9.) Paul goes on to write no matter the commandment they are all summed up in the saying “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” If you love then you wish no evil or ill will against your neighbor and hence by loving you will naturally fulfill God’s law. Love cannot hurt a neighbor. The laws of God have been created to legislate kindness and civility to God and neighbor. Jesus summarizes a short cut to following the law by loving God and loving neighbor. Love supersedes the law and is the only true barometer for how to treat God and others.
Love is not possessive or holding on to someone tight, in fact love is helping the other grow and flourish, doing whatever you are able to see the other be their best. Love is selfless and self-giving. So to love we put others above ourselves, as Jesus did His entire life.
How do you love? Do you put others first?Love is not possessive or holding on to someone tight, in fact love is helping the other grow and flourish, doing whatever you are able to see the other be their best. Click To Tweet
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