John 3:19 “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”
Have you ever had a friend ask you “So, how’s your love life?” It’s a way of asking a person if there’s anyone else in their life right now with whom they’re romantically involved. It’s a question about relationships. However, as the verse above tells us, it’s a question the Bible would ask us as well (but in a different context) and then it answers the question for us. It tells us that our actions will be a reflection of what or whom we love. If we love the darkness, another word in the Scriptures for sin, then we will engage in the works of darkness. By contrast, Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments (John 14:15).” It’s as simple as that.
When any of us struggle with the temptation to do things that we know we really shouldn’t do, it’s a reflection of a battle for our affections. We typically will do what we want to do. That’s why an unbeliever is powerless to resist sin. Yes, he or she might “turn over a new leaf” for a time, but they will eventually succumb to that same temptation, or substitute another sinful pursuit for the old one. Because an unbeliever has no love for Jesus, there is no real motivation for him or her to do the things Jesus has commanded. On the other hand, when a believer succumbs to sin, it’s a reflection that they love something else at the moment more than the One they might tell themselves or others that they love by virtue of the title “Christian.” That’s why the Bible uses the word “adultery” when it speaks of affections for other things than Christ. As James tells us “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4).” Jesus put it this way: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money (Matthew 6:24).”
Yes, our actions will reflect what we really love. That’s why self-effort, gritting our teeth, and otherwise striving to do better is never the antidote for resisting sin. No, the only antidote is love. If we love Jesus with all our hearts, we will obey Him. If we are walking in disobedience to His Word, we are demonstrating a love for something or someone else. It’s all about love. As they say, it’s love that makes the world go round. It’s the motivator for all we do. So, again, how’s your love life?