I confess, I don’t like to be controlled…I would much rather be the one in control. My human nature thinks I know best. Today we read about the love of Christ controlling a person. This is a picture of the love of Christ grabbing hold of someone; holding them firm and strong. When this love captures our heart, we live with an eternal perspective. It means that this world holds a dim view in light of eternity.
“For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. Therefore from now on, we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have know Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer.” 2 Corinthians 5:14-16
I know when I am famished I have a single-minded focus to satisfy my hunger. I am compelled to find food! Whatever it is that directs our actions is that very thing which also controls us. Our love for Christ should compel us to bring glory to God. Of what value is a belief in Christ if it doesn’t so compel a person to live as Christ lived? The love of Christ not only constrains us, it enables us to love and obey the Bible. That love causes us to understand that all of His commandments are imposed for our own good.
The love of Christ gives us the motivation and the strength to do the things that we need to do in order to be pleasing to God. We could not do it on our own. Our own personal determination and willpower is not enough. The love of Christ in the life of a believer is at work in us, renewing us day by day. It is only when we are inspired and strengthened by the love of Christ that we find the strength to live as God would have us live.
The compulsion of the love of Christ should be the driving force in a Christian’s life; a compulsion to tell others of our faith and a conviction to live out that faith. When we grasp the amazing love of God for sinners like us, the only reasonable response is to share it with others. When the love of Christ dominates us, we are going to have a heart that He has. It is not fear that constrains us, or “hems us in” but His love toward us!
When you are constrained by the love of Christ, it will move you to respond to the needs of the people around you. It thrusts you into action without stopping to rationalize. The constraining love of Christ will keep us away from what Satan seeks to ensnare us in and motivates us to act with His love and compassion.
Constrains, controls and compels… What force is driving you?