“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
Every house needs house rules: a set of agreed upon rules for how people living in the house behave. For example, many families adopt the rule: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Jesus gives us the main house rule for living in his family of faith: “Love one another.” A simple rule. A good rule. It isn’t a complex set of instructions or a complicated flowchart to follow. It simply commands believers: love one another.
If only it were that simple. If only we could just hear Jesus say it, and then do it. If only our hearts and lives would simply be governed by love. If only we would lay ourselves down for each other. Unfortunately, we often love ourselves more than we love one another.
But thankfully, Jesus has broken the power of selfishness and self-centeredness. Jesus lovingly put thoughts of self aside and laid down his life for our benefit. Jesus took all our sin and guilt on himself and removed it forever when he went to the cross.
Imagine that! There is someone whose entire reason for living was to benefit you! To help you! To save you! There is someone that loves you and cares about you even more than you love or care about yourself!
With your sin and guilt taken care of, you are free to focus on loving others. You are free to love others as Jesus loves you. You are free to follow Jesus’ house rule: Love one another.
Dear Jesus, set me free from my sinful self-love and self-centered attitudes. By your selfless love in your life and death, forgive me and help me to trust you for all my needs. Move me to focus on lovingly filling the needs of others. Amen.