Love Of Neighbor Or Control
Friday in the Fifth Week of Easter
Scriptural Readings: Acts 15:22-31; Psalm 57:8-9, 10+12; John 15:12-17
My dear encountered couples:
Jesus is always telling us, “Love one another.” And we try. Maybe we try too hard sometimes. Maybe we sometimes go over the line between love and control, like what Jesus calls slavery.
When we think that people we love don’t really know what is good for themselves, we might tend to want to manage their lives. We tell them what to do, when to do it, and how. Maybe we treat them like robots not capable of making their own decisions. We consider them children and never permit them to grow up. If we do that with anyone too much, we should ask ourselves, “Do I really love him (or her), or is it love of control I prefer?”
“You are my friends,” Jesus said. “I no longer speak of you as slaves.” Friends have discussions, differences of opinions, sometimes arguments; it’s all part of love and friendship. And though friends are expected to give advice, they are not to take over control of the other. They allow one another to make their own final decisions and try to support them in those decisions.
God, our best friend, gives us permission to make our own decisions - even he was not going to keep us from doing what we decide to do. Should any of us dare to play a part with another person’s life that even God won’t play?
Let us learn what love and friendship really are. It is not running other people’s lives.