Our Bible verse for today: “For the love of Christ compels us …From now on, then, we do not know anyone from a worldly perspective …” 2 Corinthians 5:14; 16 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Let the love of Christ control and guide you.”
As we continue to grow in our understanding of God’s perfect love and the impact that reality makes in our lives, it changes our perspective (the caterpillar and the butterfly illustration from a previous devotional). That then will change how we see the world around us and how we interact with the people we encounter. God’s love will change how we deal with people and with circumstances, because it will change how we see them, think about them, and feel about them.
In 2 Corinthians 5:14-16 Paul writes that the love of Christ “compels” us. Other translations say it “controls” us. “Compels” communicates the idea of being driven by the love of Christ. “Controls” speaks of being guided by the love of Christ. The Amplified version of the Bible says, “For the love of Christ controls and compels us …” I like that better. As we walk through this world encountering people and situations, we are both driven by, and guided by, the love of Christ.
What does that mean in practical terms? Paul tells us in verse 16: “We do not know anyone from a worldly perspective …” In other words, we don’t think about and attempt to understand people and situations from a worldly perspective. That’s caterpillar thinking. That’s viewing people and circumstances from a lowly perspective as we crawl along the ground. Instead we see them as Christ sees them. Like a butterfly (a transformed caterpillar), the love of Jesus allows us to soar above circumstances and view it all from an elevated perspective.
So, we stop evaluating others from a human perspective and we see them instead as a person Christ died for, as a spirit-being who is going to spend eternity in either heaven or in hell. We recognize that their sins are leaving them confused and lost in darkness, but we can shine the light of Christ to penetrate that darkness. When it’s the love of Christ that controls and drives us it changes everything about how we understand and deal with people and events.
I encourage you to let the love of Christ control and guide you today.