Reflections on Bible verses

1 John 3:23

And this is his command:
to believe in the name of his son,
Jesus Christ,
and to love one another as he commanded us.

Standard instructions you hear as the plane gets ready for take-off:
"Please fasten your seat-belt and put your seat back in the upright position."
Rules and regulations. "Only eight people in the lift". "Speed limit 30 miles per hour".
They all make life safer when we follow them, although most of us forget the one about
the speed limit. But life can't really be contained by rules. There's more to it than that.

Every day we face situations with no convenient rule to tell us exactly what to do.
We have to use our common sense and make our own decisions. We're on our own.
Well, not quite. There are some basics for all of us, whatever our faith. To some the
Ten Commandments are old hat, but if we followed them society would be a lot better.

Then there's a rule from Confucius,
"Don't do to others what you don't want them to do to you."
That's OK, but Jesus put it positively. He said,
"Do unto others as you want them to do unto you."

It's one thing to say that you've never done anyone any harm,
even if it's true.
It's quite another thing to actually do some good.

The first rule is one of respect.
Acknowledging a person's space, not treading on his or her toes.
The other is a rule of love.
Not hurting people is great as far as it goes, but love has
to be proactive, if you'll pardon the jargon.
It means getting out there and doing some good without waiting to be pushed.

Jesus said he had come into the world to offer us a better life.
He came.
He didn't hang about waiting to be asked.
And neither should we,
if the love that is at the heart of the universe
is going to be part of our lives.

Lord of my life, teach me your rule of love and help me
to understand that it offers freedom, not constraint.

Eddie Askew

(taken from: "Talking with Hedgehogs"
- Thoughts for the Day, page 22)