Can all of our society’s problems be solved by following two simple rules: Love God with every fiber of your being, and love others as you would love yourself?
Is that possible—or even reasonable?
I’m asking for a friend.
Is love the answer to it all? Is it possible to just love away racism and prejudice, injustice and oppression, bigotry and apathy? Or does love call for more than just kindness and compassion?
Would the sex trafficker stop prostituting young girls and boys if someone would just walk up to them and say “I love you”? Would all of these male celebrity household names have felt compelled to keep their hands to themselves during their heydays?
Would love have prevented President Trump from issuing the order to launch a missile attack on Syria? Or was love and concern for those that Syria may oppress the motivating factor?
Would genuine love put an end to this toxic, volatile, politically-charged atmosphere that our society has created? Would a real love for God…and each other…make a righty conservative actually work together with a lefty liberal for the betterment of everyone?
Is it really that simple?
I genuinely believe that loving God and loving people is the answer to our society’s ills. Plain and simple.
But how we demonstrate and apply that love in our everyday lives and in various situations is…complicated.
Godly love isn’t as simple as a warm hug and gentle voice. Sometimes it’s demonstrated through turning over tables, uprooting and exposing evil and injustice, fighting for the oppressed and the helpless, and speaking the truth in love even if it offends the hearer. And as much as I would like to box God’s love into one simplified application, it’s just not possible.
If I can say anything with absolute certainty on this subject, it’s that a real relationship with God is the only way to apply His love correctly and consistently. We won’t always get it right, but we need His guidance to get it right more often than not.
Maybe not so much.
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on jesusthecenter.com
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