“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.”
~Romans 13:10 (NRSV).
Love is a higher law because it’s simpler and has the freedom of discretion about it. The idea encapsulates all the numerous commandments of God into one premise: to give.
From Negative to Positive
None of us likes to be criticised. We generally dislike negative people.
It’s like the time when you arrive at the front counter of a fast-food outlet to order your burger and fries and you witness an overbearing junior manager angrily and sarcastically barking orders and repeats to his staff. There are two responses in return: fear or respondent anger.
When all we get is negative—“Thou shalt not!”—we’ve no room to grow. We shrink and die... or we get frustrated and angry.
Love is the higher law because it’s positive; it brings forth hope and possibility. It expands our horizons and doesn’t contract them in either fear or deadness.
From Legalism to Freedom
Under the Law there was no way to inspire people or be inspired through faith and our relationships. You did what was required, got the required thanks, and then went onto the next thing. People quickly die spiritually in such a chasm bereft of air.
It’s like being in a workplace or home environment where it’s impossible to impress. There’s no way to go the extra mile. What’s the use in trying to exceed expectations?
Love smashes that. It rips up the contract, installing a new and better law.
Freedom is resplendent when we can inspire others and, in that, ourselves too. There is scope for the imagination: to give with thought, discretion and ingenuity—to create the perfect situational recipe. The taste of the love gift can then be abundantly gorgeous.
This way we’re taken to new heights, more and more. The old bar is forgotten and there’s no fear for not reaching it.
From Need to Want
Not far from legalism is ‘needing’ to do something... or else. There’s no freedom in that.
When we give people choice, yet they know they have to do the thing, we deliver them a way of doing what they have to do, but with freedom. This is love.
They embrace their responsibility because they’re positively motivated. To release any encumbrance over a single soul is the essence of love. There’s no hierarchy there; love needs no hierarchies to work. It transfers the value of work from ‘need to’ to ‘want to’. This love breeds happiness.
For these reasons (and more), nothing touches love so far as the Law’s concerned.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.