So, I've been thinking a lot about how Jesus says that if you obey him, you'll remain in his love. I always used to think that that seemed like a pretty discomforting idea. Because it seemed like I was pretty much doomed to fall out of his love because, to be honest, I'm pretty bad at obeying his commands. I think if we're honest most of us are. But more and more on this trip I'm realizing that the point of that wasn't to warn us but to encourage us. I mean, he follows this statement immediately in John to say, I told you this so that your joy will be complete.
I'm realizing this (slowly and with a lot of resistance, I'm way more Catholic than I thought) that God's love comes with out a prerequisite amount of obedience on our part, because Jesus handled that bill in the first place. So the whole point of saying that we'll remain in his love if we obey him is this (I think... this one's from me to be honest) ... if we love him, we're just naturally going to obey him, which pretty much means we don't have anything to worry about.
I'll use my parents as an example. For the most part I just obeyed them, I didn't like it all the time, but I did, because well, at the core I always knew they loved me, so it was kind of easy. I even obeyed them to the point of doing some pretty ridiculous things, like going to the Dwight D. Eisenhower birthplace on one vacation (okay... to be honest, I kind of liked that, I even bought a commemorative copy of the D-Day address, I'm a nerd). I went because I kind of new, even as a selfish teenager, that my dad really dug that kind of stuff, so why not let him enjoy that. Author's note: I was not always that compliant, don't want to create an inaccurate depiction of myself, it's just one of those moments.
Anyway, it was kind of easy to obey them because I knew they loved me and I loved them in return. Our relationship with God is like that. Obedience doesn't validate love or earn love... it's the natural product of love. I know God loves me and the more aware I become of that, the more surrounded I am by it, the more I pursue it, the more I obey Him just because I want to spend more time with Him. It's that whole "it's your kindness that leads to repentance" idea.
Soooo, all this to say, maybe we worry too much as Christians about being the conscience of each other and the world when in reality we could just be showing each other Christ's love, teaching each other to genuinely know and receive that love, and letting the Holy Spirit handle that whole conviction thing. He's pretty good at it.