Journal 2 John (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as we were commanded by the Father.
And now I ask you, dear lady—not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.
And this is love: That we walk according to his commandments…” 2 John 4-6a
Observation: Boy, howdy: Don’t the letters from John just set up for cherry picking scripture power quotes? Someone could miss the forest for the tree…
Analysis: Here’s the oft-quoted reference: “…that we love one another…”
It really doesn’t require a definition because everyone knows what loving one another is, right? I wonder…
I am sitting here trying to put a definition to “love one another” and I can “feel” what it is but am having a difficult time to concisely be objective. “Loving one another” from one POV means:
- Making someone happy and/or comfortable.
- Making someone have a smile on their face.
- Taking care of someone’s need (or sometimes, wants).
- Being selfless (or not selfish, which it is more often taught to children).
and while I can dig around and find some scripture reference for these, most folks “wing it” emotionally. Not saying that is bad but am insinuating it is shallow.
The Holy Spirit puts a firmness in the definition: “And this is love: That we walk according to His Commandments.”
I have to ask myself: What comes first, the Chicken or the Egg? Do I learn what Love is before loving (no matter how I define it), or do I “Love one another” and call it a day?
Survey says…. Love one another according to what I think is right and in parallel learn what “Right Love” is and change my mind and ways appropriately. This is the “make it up as you go” side of things, where I know I should do something and still learn upon the way—correct my actions as I find out what Jesus says to do…
The point I am attempting to reinforce is commitment to learn. Walking according to His Commandments is not a “one and done” exercise. Here’s an example:
Earlier this week I had an opportunity to expound on “overcoming temptation” by employment of an action plan. The words came out well, made sense, were concise and clear and was met with nodding heads of understanding. All well and good, right? So what happened?
All this week, after expounding on my point, using a specific issue in my life, I have been struggling on that same sin—morning, noon, and night. In public and not. Imagination running wild.
Conclusion: when I thought I had a sin whipped, I don’t…and God is good to remind me that, along with learning, planning, execution of plan, I need to resoundingly reside in His loving arms of Grace.
So, how do I love, love more, and excel in loving like Christ does? No question about it, Study and pursue His Commandments.
Prayer: I am grateful that you kick over the boundaries of my pride, Father. About the time I am proudly reviewing I have something licked, you show me I don’t…and that I need to lean on You in desperation and dependence.
Help me to abhor independence, for independence is repugnant to you.
Revival is what I want…