God commands that you love others. Do you love because this pleases God or because it benefits you? Here are some provocative words from Paul Tripp.
“God created us to be social beings. His plan, from day one, was for us to live in meaningful community with another. It is one of the primary ways that we can image him. Have you ever considered that God himself is a community? He is the only being in the universe who can say that. Our relationships are so important to God but he position ed the command for us to love one another second only to the call love him. We are called live in productive community with others, and those relationships must be a high priority as we make our daily decisions.
Yet, in our sin, many of us look to other people to do the one thing they were never designed to do; give us identity… This is dangerous. No sinner could ever be your rock and fortress. No sinner can give you a consistent reason for hope. Soon or later, everyone around you will fail you. There is, however, an even greater danger here. As you look to this person for identity, you’re not really loving them; you are loving you. You have turned the second great commandment on its ear. Instead of serving people because you love them, your are willing to serve them so that they will love you. This kind of parasitic relationship is never healthy. Only as you keep the first great commandment we have any hope of keeping the second.”
Paul David Tripp
Lost in the Middle