Did we really need this—a new commandment? None of us know what life was like in the world before Christ so we cannot answer that question. We do know, however, what the world is like today so we can ask the question of ourselves now, as we look around the world. Do we really need this new commandment? The answer is an obvious, “Yes,” but we are left with a newer and more difficult question. What does it mean to love one another according to this new commandment?
Yes, Jesus showed us the truest, deepest, most efficacious meaning of this new commandment but what does it look like in daily life? How do we abandon our weak human inclinations and live this new commandment? It’s easy to look at the world and see the need for love among countries, among peoples, among cultures, and among leaders but God intends this new commandment for me—in my personal, daily life with others.
I’ve heard it said, and maybe you have too, that feelings are neither right nor wrong—they are just there. Too often I let my feelings rule my actions. Too many times I react with feelings of anger or disrespect to someone who has hurt me or thrown obstacles into the path of my daily living.
My passions, too, can dictate my actions and reactions to people, things and events. Being passionate about something can throw my feelings and balance into a tizzy, causing me to do or say something that can be hurtful to others. It doesn’t mean I don’t like that person. My balance is out of whack and I lose control. It may not be intentional but it still can hurt.
Maybe that is why God gave me this new commandment and maybe I need to consider it anew, every day, many times during each day. It can change my focus. It can cause me to think of the other along with myself. It can help me maintain balance in a world totally out of balance. It can bring joy to both of us.
YES, I do need this new commandment.