I quoted this verse recently and it was pointed out to me that we don’t need to love others. Love is an interesting thing. We love others and those people that we love are often the people that bother us the most. People are often prickly to get close to and we don’t always get along but we love each other anyways. This is what makes love interesting. It often costs a great deal; it is often a great amount of trouble; and yet, it gives us such joy and fulfillment in life. This is purely unexplainable. Love should by all rights aggravate us, and should be something that we avoid by all costs. It boggles the mind of the natural evolutionist that people seem so designed and delighted to give of themselves against all evolutionary suppositions. The evolutionary naturalist has no explanation of love but this is not all that surprising. It is not an element of chance; it is a feature of design. Human beings are created to love. God has designed us to do the unbelievable. He has designed us to love, and he has given us a purpose. If we have been designed to love, then we are most fulfilled when we live according to our design.
Certainly it is easy to see the uniqueness of human beings as being divinely designed to love. This much is obvious. In the garden God designed man and woman to love, that purpose was derailed by sin. Now we are left with a purpose, but as John makes clear, we are also left with a choice. When the Bible calls us to love others, and to do so sacrificially, it is not a new idea. This is not revolutionary or a departure from what we are born to do. The Bible just recognizes God’s design and calls us, particularly here those who have recognized God as God, to return to our original design. It is here that we have our choice. We can either fulfill our designed purpose, or we can live without purpose. Certainly it is true. We can choose not to love others but this leaves us miserable and unfulfilled. Not only does this denial damage us, but it often times wreaks havoc in the lives of those around us. Anybody who has experienced an unloving person, particularly close to you, recognizes the damage that they can do to others and the self-destruction they inevitably bring on themselves. When we are called to love our neighbor, it is not a trial, a burden to bear, or a struggle we have to strive against. When we are called to love, we are called to live according to purpose and find fulfillment in our human design. Yes we can choose not to love as much as a mountain goat can choose to be a bird. He won’t get that far, he will fail because it violates his design, and he will probably get hurt in the process. We can choose not to love others, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. It’s a better idea to recognize the design of God and find fulfillment in doing what God designed us to do.