The Requirements of Love

In a previous essay, I wrote “As I have stated in other essays, I believe that created beings are inherently evil.  That is to say, I believe that created beings are inherently incapable of keeping God’s perfect standard of love without God’s help.”  With these words, I assumed something which I think is so obvious that I have not made it explicit.   Everything that is not in accordance with God’s perfect love is evil.  This seems obvious to me, but many people seem to have an inadequate understanding of this issue.  It is as if  people think that if they don’t do any of the “Thou shalt nots” in the Old Testament that they are blameless in the sight of God.  This can easily be shown to be ridiculous.  Let us consider the words of the Lord:

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  (Matthew 22:37-40)

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23)

These two verses are as plain as it is possible to be.  Being a good person is more than not murdering somebody, not raping somebody, not stealing, not taking the name of the Lord in vain etc…  Being good requires a perfect love for God and those made in his image.  Anything which falls short of this perfect love is sin.  The requirements of love are not merely that you not break God’s commandments, but that you positively love those around you.

As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right.  (1 Samuel 12:23)

But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.  (Romans 14:23)

This seems so obvious as to need no elaboration, but many Christians seem to think that they meet God’s perfect standard because they haven’t done anything wrong.  In reality, you can be displeasing to God because of something that you are failing to do.

About Robert V

Former atheist currently living in Toronto.
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