1 John 4:10-11
In this is love: not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
I looked up the expanded version of this version because I was convinced that the verse was incomplete. I thought there was a mistake and that it shouldn’t have a period, but some other form of punctuation that would further expand upon the whole love thing.
I have no problem loving other people. Liking them, not so much. I was wanting to find some biblical clarification that told me I didn’t have to love the jerky customer service guy who is a totally idiot. I wanted to find where I didn’t have to like mean people or rude people or those weirdos who think toilet paper should roll from the bottom.
I decided to focus on the word “ought”– it sounded rather light and fluffy–like a suggestion. The scripture wasn’t telling us we had to love one another, only that “if it was convenient, it would be a nice thing to do.”
Unfortunately, dictionary.com didn’t give me the definition I was hoping for:
1. used to express duty or moral obligation
2. used to express justice, moral rightness, or the like
3. used to express propriety, appropriateness, etc.
God loved us before we loved him and in order to show our love for him, we must (as a duty and moral obligation) love one another. Period.