A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
The command to love seems like an oxymoron. Even the Bible in 1 Corinthians 13, translated in the Living Bible and The Message, says that love “does not demand its own way” and “Doesn’t force itself on others,” respectively. Love is supposed to be voluntary, but our verse for today issues us a command that leaves us with no choice and even insists that we must love. Reconciling this difference is best illustrated with the relationship of a husband and wife. Prior to saying “I do” at the altar, love was voluntary, but once the vow is taken to “love and to cherish until death do us part,” love is no longer a voluntary act but an obligation that must be carried out whether you feel like doing it or not. The command to love is for believers, not unbelievers since we have surrendered our lives to God. Love is an attribute of God, and since we are His now, He requires us to exhibit this attribute as well.