Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilment of the law. (Romans 13:10 NKJV)
The Love Experiment
Some years ago, a well-noted doctor and psychologist sought the cause of why many patients were ill. One day he called his clinical staff and unfolded a plan to create a continual atmosphere of creative love in his clinic. All incoming patients were given large quantities of love; no unloving attitudes were displayed in the presence of the patients, and every nurse and doctor were required to go about their jobs with a loving attitude. At the end of the study, six months later, the time spent by patients in the institution was reduced by half. The simple act of loving the patient helped them heal faster, become more healthy and spend less time in the hospital.
Today the word “love” is among the most misused English terms. It’s almost impossible to spend a full day before you hear it several times. We have diluted its meaning such that today ‘love’ and ‘like’ carry the same weight of meaning. To many people, the only way they feel loved is when others give them undivided attention. To others, love is having many partners, many likes on social media, or not being corrected even when they are wrong. But is this what the bible teaches as love? According to the scripture, True love is not selfish; it is kind, keeps no record of wrongs, doesn’t exalt itself, and freely puts others ahead of itself (1 Corinthians 13). We all want to receive love.
Everybody wants to be put first and get all the attention they seek. However, few of us know how to practice love and how to pass the gift to others. When love is the motive behind what we do, it is almost impossible to harm a neighbour. In our society, relationships have become transactional. Our commercial spaces are full of con artists and fraudsters. Enterprises will give loans to people hoping they cannot pay back; gamblers work hard fueled by the desire to take what the other person worked for. We must seek the word of the Lord to see the end of these vices. “What sorrow awaits you who make your neighbors drunk! You force your cup on them so you can gloat over their shameful nakedness” (Habakkuk 2:15).
Love Is The Fulfilment Of The Law
The second table of the commandments includes; do not murder, do not steal, do not covet and do not commit adultery. By refraining from those activities, one is expressing a practical, tangible love to the neighbour. So, we see that love is not an alternative ethical system to the moral law. No, Paul says, the love command summarises that same law (Romans 13:10). Jesus affirmed the same thing when he said that loving thy neighbour is the second greatest commandment (Matthew 22:39).
In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis writes, “Do not waste your time bothering whether you love your neighbor; act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him.”
King James Version (KJV)
“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
New International Version (NIV)
“Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.”
New American Bible (NASB)
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the Law.”
English Standard Version (ESV)
“Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
The Living Bible (TLB)
“Love does no wrong to anyone. That’s why it fully satisfies all of God’s requirements. It is the only law you need.”