Read 2 John
Focus on verse 6
Love and Obedience…
As I write this today I am trying to think of a situation where a person might be able to legitimately love another person yet choose to disobey that person. Perhaps on a person to person level this might be more common than I thought. The only place where it does not make sense is in our relationship with God. People are fallible and as such might make a demand or request that would place another person in a position of violating either the relationship to the person making the request or their own conscience. In such a situation one could legitimately claim that it would not be unloving to disobey the request.
With God however, there would never be an occasion where God would require us to violate His law, which if we claim allegiance to Him, should also never be a compromise of our conscience. In today’s reading John writes to someone he calls “the elect lady”. Presumably a woman of significant importance in one of the congregations nearby.
And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it. (v. 6)
The commandment is to love God and one another. It is not a new commandment, it is one that has been consistent with the character of God from the beginning. It is only new in the sense that it is new to those who have not heard of it before.
John makes a fairly strong case that it is impossible to legitimately claim to love God while knowingly breaking His commandments. If we truly love someone, we try our best to do what pleases them, and to avoid what offends them. If we are consistently offending them – the claim that we love them rings rather hollow.