“The One Rule” ( Romans 13: 9-10, NEB ) by Carley Evans

“For the commandments, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not covet’, and any other commandment there may be, are all summed up in the one rule, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ Love cannot wrong a neighbor; therefore the whole law is summed up in love.”

 

Anyone who claims to have never violated the one rule is lying. Those who claim this complete love are deluding themselves — for love does no wrong to its neighbor — ever! Jesus tells the young rich man who wants to know how to enter heaven, “‘If you wish to go the whole way (i.e. if you wish to be perfect), go, sell your possessions, and give to the poor, and then you will have riches in heaven; and come, follow Me.'” I don’t see many who sell all of their possessions, give all to the poor, and then follow after Jesus. Or, who give the very little they have as does the poor widow; leaving themselves completely dependent upon God.

 

Rather, many of us — if we are honest — weakly follow after our Lord. Which of us will cut off our offending arm rather than enter the fires of hell?

 

But, God in His great mercy, sells all He has and gives it to us — the poor. We are the poor in spirit who rely on His shed blood to enable us to love as He loves. Jesus continually points us to Himself, saying to us that if we wish to succeed in this life and in the life to come, we must leave ourselves behind, stop trying to ‘do good’, and rather just ‘be good’ through His Holy Spirit.

 

“Love cannot wrong a neighbour.” God is love. May He always be allowed to love others through us. Let’s get out of His way.

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