You’ve heard of the rule of law. The rule of law is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “the authority and influence of law in society, especially when viewed as a constraint on individual and institutional behavior; (hence) the principle whereby all members of a society (including those in government) are considered equally subject to publicly disclosed legal codes and processes.” The rule of law implies that every person is subject to the law, including people who are lawmakers, law enforcement officials and judges.
We are bound to be hearing a lot about the rule of law in the next few days and weeks as our nation goes through the ratification of a disputed election and the establishment of a president. But what we won’t be hearing about, and yet, what will be most important for us to be manifesting in all our relationships and especially those in the marketplace is another kind of rule — the rule of love.
Yesterday we established that truth was found in holding to the teaching of Jesus, and that the teaching of Jesus can be summarized into one single thing: love. Loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and loving your neighbor as yourself is actually the embodiment of the rule of law for all followers of Christ. Heed this “rule of love” and you will be fulfilling all of what the law and the prophets require. So we will call it the rule of love. Love God, love one another, and so fulfill the law of God.
This is not a nice thing to do. This is not an option or an opinion. This is a rule that needs to permeate everything we do. It’s a means by which we assess our attitudes and relationships as to whether we are truly living as followers of Jesus.
Here are some questions that might reveal issues of the heart — whether we are operating under the rule of love or what it might look like if we did.
Am I loving God with my current attitude?
What would be the loving thing I could do for this particular person?
Am I loving such and such a person by how I am thinking about them right now?
How do I think about my perceived enemies?
Am I forgiving this person or holding a grudge?
Note: This is not an attempt at self-effort. This is not drumming up love. These are questions that should reveal our thinking to us and throw ourselves on the mercy of God for the love He surely has for people we might find hard to love. Love is of God, John said, and those who love are born of God. We cannot generate or manufacture love. We are either born of God or we are not. If you find love welling up within you, rejoice. If you find yourself overcome with hate and revenge, get on your knees and seek the Lord. It all begins inside and then works out as we step into situations by faith that call for our loving action.