Verse: 1 John 5:1-3
Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,
I think this verse is hard for us to hear: "this is love for God: to keep his commands." We don't like thinking about God as an authority in our lives, and we don't like having to "obey commands." It sounds so restrictive and archaic. Aren't we free to do what we want? Isn't love for God more of a feeling and a relationship, than obedience?
Let's think about it this way: I've been married for 23 years. I love my wife so much. I think we have a really good relationship.
However, we do have some commands in our relationship (some very serious, some not so much):
- Don't flirt with, or build an emotional or physical relationship with, someone of the opposite sex.
- Don't use the words "always" or "never" in a fight.
- Don't ever call each other any sort of name in a fight.
- Don't share deep parts of our heart with someone else before sharing with each other.
- Don't go to bed angry with each other.
- Don't leave your bowl of cereal out on the counter where the cereal can get all crusty. Put it in the sink and fill it with water. (This one is VERY important.)
- Don't chew with your mouth open. (OK, this one is just for me.)
Our relationship is so stifling isn't it? How can there be any joy? There are so many rules!!!! You see the point right? If I didn't (or she didn't) follow these rules, we would not be loving each other. We can say "I love you" all day long, but if we can't honor these rules of our relationship, what good is it?
This verse paints a very similar picture. The commands of God "are not burdensome." They are there to make your relationship with God and others better. They are there to teach you how to love fully and in health.
What rules of God seem burdensome to you? How does reframing them in this way help you?
I pray that you would teach me that all of your boundaries are good for me, and that you set them into place for my good.