A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34

But I Thought Love Was a Voluntary Act

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.



  • Rev. Sunday Bwanhot

    Rev. Sunday Bwanhot is a missionary to America serving with SIM/ECWA. He is an Economist by profession and has worked as a Statistician with Kaduna State Government. He later pioneered and managed the Challenge Press of ECWA in Jos before God’s call to pioneer the Prayer Ministry of ECWA in Jos, Nigeria. In 1993, God called him to Chicago as a missionary and has been serving there since 1995 to date. Currently, he pastors ECWA Chicago which he planted and serves as the Chairman of the ECWA USA District Church Council. Loves being a grandpa of 8 grandchildren and enjoys writing.

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