< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Christian Love - a Choice not a Feeling

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Christian Love - a Choice not a Feeling

The apostle John tells us in 1 John 2:7-8; “Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment which you have had since the beginning; the old commandment is the word which you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new commandment which is true in him and in you.”

The commandment is to love others. It’s old because it comes from the law. Leviticus 19:18 says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” And it’s new because Jesus interpreted it a new way. In John 13:34-35 He says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

Jesus raised it to a new standard. We are to love like He did. Jesus didn’t just love His neighbors. He loved sinners and He loved His enemies. The Jews used to believe God wanted to destroy sinners. The rabbis would say, “There is joy in heaven when one sinner is obliterated from earth.” But, Jesus was a friend to the outcast and sinners and He taught us there is joy in heaven when one sinner comes home. Jesus widened the boundaries of who we are to love until they included the whole world.

For Christians, loving others isn’t a feeling, but a choice. There will always be things about certain people we won’t like. But, we should never treat others as irritants or look down on them. We should never think they are unimportant compared to us. If anyone had the right to do that it would have been Christ,but He never did. He always had time for people. He always had compassion for them. Jesus was able to see into their hearts and know why they did what they did. As we become more and more like Christ on our journey we will be able to see others through His eyes.

We should never treat people like enemies; they should never be a nuisance to us and we shouldn’t ignore their needs. Our brother’s needs are our needs, his interests our interests. To serve him is why we are here and to fellowship with him the true joy of life.

John says loving our brother allows us to progress in our spiritual life, but hating him stops the progress. Your choice!

Teach your children less about the love of power and more about the power of love!

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At 7:36 AM, Blogger Tom Atkins said...

Just stumbled into your blog. As a long time (20+ years) Sunday School teacher myself, your title said it all - teaching has taught me far more than my teaching has taught others!


At 10:01 PM, Blogger Weekend Fisher said...

I also like the blog title. I'm a Sunday school teacher too. Nice to meet you.

I have to wonder, though -- Christ wants to change our hearts. When we are completely changed in heart, I have no doubt that our love will be real love that includes heart mind soul and strength.

Take care & God bless


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