To quote Oswald Chambers, “we know very little about love as God reveals it. This is proved by the way we use the word obey.”
To quote my 6-year-old daughter, “People are easier to love when they do what I want them to.” Amen!
But I’m glad that is not God’s perspective about people. He loves us because He loves us, not whether or not we do what He wants us to.
Oswald Chambers said that the Lord never enforces obedience—He doesn’t make us do what He wants. “At certain times I wish God would…make me do the thing, but He will not; in other moods I wish He would leave me alone, but He does not.”
So, while we are free to do what we want to (which sometimes may not be so good), Peter encourages us to take the higher road. “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God. Show proper respect to everyone. Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:16-17 NIV)
Let me encourage you, as I remind myself, that these are great words to live by. We won’t always succeed, and God will love us anyway, but think how much better the world would be if all of us will, at least, try—not because we have to, but because we want to.