Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. – Romans 13:10
As a lover of words, I appreciate how certain words which mean basically the same thing will evoke a different meaning because of their connotation. This is not God’s intention. God gives us the law for our good – it is the blueprint for constructing a life that He wants us to have, one filled with joy and fulfillment. But most people can’t seem to get past the image of the police officer handing them a ticket, so they look at it in a more legalistic and punitive way. This truly is a pity, because as God shows us in this verse, even His law is based fully upon His love.
Love does no harm to its neighbor. In human terms, that is difficult to achieve. Even why we try to express our love toward one another, things will happen that misguide, misconstrue, or otherwise alter the appearance of the loving gesture. We analyze and over-analyze what we or others do or say. We recall past events and experiences where harm occurred in the place where love should have been allowing the past to taint our present. Simply put, the sin that has entered our world makes it very difficult for us to being able to truly love one another in the way God had originally intended. Because God is perfect, so is His love. Because we are not perfect, our expression of love will also have imperfections.
But this in no way means that we should simply give up on trying. In His word God has instructed us time and time again to love one another. Why is this so important? Because as the Bible tells us: God is love. There is no better way to share God with others than to model His very nature with them. God pours love upon us in abundance, healing our wounds, calming our fears, delivering us from the depths of despair caused by our sin. He forgives, He encourages, and He actively gives to us all that we need to live lives focused upon glorifying His Holy Name. 1 John 3:18 makes it clear that we are to be active in loving one another as it states, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” In fact, love is not only the sharing of kindness or the outward display of an emotional connection. It is our greatest evangelistic tool and the window to heaven itself. Or as Schönberg and Boublil put it in the musical Les Miserables, “To love another person is to see the face of God.”
I pray that you will know the fullness of the love that God has for you today and every day for the rest of your life. May you be built up by that love so that your all of your needs will be met, your desires fulfilled, and so you may continue to share love with others in the way that God intended.