Influenced by the Cross

Is the love of Christ to compel me?  Or is the love of Christ to constrain me?

Perhaps surprisingly (or perhaps not!) – the answer is both!  His love for me is to both compel and constrain!

I first came across this idea as a young Christian, when reading 2 Corinthians 5:14, which in part states in some translations, “For the love of Christ compels us…” and in others “For the love of Christ constraineth us…”

I wondered how His love could be what causes me to both do something (compel) and not do something (constrain).  Now, I wonder how I could be compelled or constrained by anything but His love!

I remind myself – often – I do what I do because of the love of Christ and I don’t do what I don’t do because of the love of Christ!  Paul’s words written here, and the life he lived since the time he encountered Christ, have been described as a life “under the influence of Christ’s love” (MacLaren).  

The next time you and I wonder why we should  ____________ or why we should not _____________, let us recall these words from Paul.  Perhaps we, too, will find the answer, the motive, and the reason in the love of Christ.  

May our lives be under the influence of His love.  


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