8 Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law.9 For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”10 Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.
Romans 13: 8-10
Election years are the worst. I’m not sure I know anyone who gets excited to see political candidates berate and scorn one another, no matter how ugly the battle might get. And this year especially, I am weary of politics. I grieve over the massive divide that grows each day between the two major political parties. The closer we get to Election Day, the further we seem to grow apart as a nation, and as members of the body of Christ. Somehow, we have used our political views to throw dirt at one another, saying it’s for the sake of Christ and the preservation of the church. Our church community has been stained by heated political arguments, instead of being characterized by the love of Christ.
Where have we gone wrong?
Paul’s reminds us in Romans 13 that it’s less about our opinions and worldviews, and more about the love we have to offer one another. Instead of focusing on what the government owes us, or the church, or even our friends and family, have we taken the time to consider what we owe them? A familiar quote from John F. Kennedy suggests, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” Do I dare suggest that the best thing we can do for our country is to love each other?
Perhaps the political scene would be less heated if we stopped focusing on what’s wrong with everyone around us and started asking God to equip us with the love we need to fulfill our debt to one another. Remember, “love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law” (Romans 13:10). My prayer for all of us is that we would be more concerned with embodying the love of God than making sure “our side” wins the majority vote this November. May God equip us with that love in such a way that we would be united as the Body of Christ.
When do you feel united to the Body of Christ?
When do you feel excluded from the Body?
What makes others feel excluded or divided?
What are some other verses about unity in the Body?