Love for One Another
8 Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 10 Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
There is an currency that exists that is not attached to the concept of debt, but there are few of us who know how it works. But an economy is emerging that solely uses this currency and will eventually undo the system that is currently in place. This new economy I am talking about is the gratitude economy and it is close at hand.
The gratitude economy is not manipulable. It is fueled on authenticity, guided by principles of compatibility, and the value of its currency is established on it’s ability to foster innovation in every area of human spiritual development. What’s more, the participants in this economy do not participate from a place of lack or fear of loss, but from the reality of infinite Love.
Now, I know that there are many who doubt that such an economy exists, but as a participant in it, I can assure you that it does. It is open to all, it is easy to invest in it, and all you have to give in order to participate is everything.
Love is everything. Do you realize that? And I am not talking about the Hollywood romantic, “You had me at hello,” kind of love. I’m talking about the Love that the Bible says God is. That love is everything. And, as I grow in spiritual discipline, I am increasingly convicted that this love is what we owe one another. We owe everything to everyone, because the call of those of us who say we follow Christ is to love, period. That is the cross and the commandment of those who strive to imitate Jesus.
To know the Love that I am talking about is to know the Treasure above all other treasures. It is the Gift beyond all gifts and if we receive it as it has been freely given, it is only natural that we would want to give it away just as freely. It is just what gratitude does. It compels you to share what you have been blessed with. And once you realize you have God’s Love, you realize you have it all. But if you seem to have everything and don’t have love, it can feel like you really have nothing. Just check out what Paul says:
The Gift of Love
1 Corinthians 13 (NRSV)
13 If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast,[a] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends.
And because God’s love never ends, we needn’t worry, because like God, we are the love we give. In this way, the only part of us that is lost, is the love we didn’t give when we had the chance. I know that is a hard pill to swallow when we have been taught a different value system, but I am assured that what I am feeling is consistent with God’s eternal nature.
So where this leaves me is with the awareness that I must do everything I can to submit the false idea of a me with anything to lose. Because as long as I can love, I have nothing to lose and everything to give. What that looks like is living a life with me making no excuses for myself for not loving like Jesus. If I fail a thousand times, it doesn’t give me license to give up. Basically, I have to get Christed or die trying and encourage others to do the same. That’s the only way I know how to show my gratitude for the grace I’ve been afforded.
In Philippians 3, Paul said that he counted everything as loss for the surpassing value of knowing Christ. Do we even know what he means? What it means to me is coming to accept the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge and allowing it to do it’s work in us so that we can do the Work of Love. Everything else will prove itself empty and valueless in time.
So my prayer is that we increasingly learn to live love and give love so that we can appreciate what is truly valuable in this life.
Prayer for the Readers (Ephesians 3)
For this reason I bow my knees before the God, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of God’s glory, it may granted that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through God’s Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to God who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to God be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.