The most commonly mistranslated verse in the Bible is John 14:15. It causes me to twitch every time I hear someone misquote it which in my circles is a lot. In their defense the reason is that in a few Bible translations it is not quoted accurately. The reason for this is rooted in grammar. In English we only have three verb tenses: Past, Present, Future. The new testament was written in Greek and has many verb tenses. Love is a verb. In the Greek the verb tense is accurately translated "If you LOVE me you WILL be keeping my commandments"
The difference is night and day. The mistranslation implies we need to prove or demonstrate our love by commandment keeping. The proper translation reveals that love makes commandment keeping automatic. In other words if we find ourselves breaking the commandments our problem is not that we are law breakers. Our problem is that we are not in love. Unless we understand this we approach people all wrong including ourselves. We try to modify behaviour rather then improve relationships. Let that sink in for a moment or two...
Romans 5 ended with Paul explaining that God gave the written law to the people through Moses to magnify sin so that grace would be magnified. Then chapter 6 begins this way: 6:1 "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?2 Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? 3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life."
Paul knew that some would use his words against him to justify their own evil desires. "Hey Jesus has more grace than I have sins and my sins make his grace increase so what's the big deal about sin? The more I do it the more grace I get!"
This a convenient theology that betrays one thing. We are intensely selfish. We use God and treat Christianity as a rewards system: If I do this I will get this. Where is the love?
In true Christianity love is the motivator. It was love for us that brought Jesus to this planet in human form. It was love for us that caused him to expose for us our true heart condition. It was love for us that kept Him reaching out to us while we pushed Him away, lied about Him, attempted to defame His character and His motives. It was love for us that kept Him reaching out while we plotted His murder. It was love for us that lead Him like a Lamb to the slaughter while we cried "Crucify Him!"
Through all of it He never retaliated. He never was provoked to anger against us. Why? Because that's how love behaves. His love for us was greater than our sins against Him.
Now the deeper we explore this reality the more we will be drawn to love Him in return. Our hard hearts will melt as we see more and more of His boundless love in the face of our self obsessed hate.
If we see an opportunity to sin more so we can get more we haven't seen His love an all. We've only seen an opportunity to exploit Him for our own selfish gain and that is not love.
Next time you find yourself in a situation where you are being hurt or are doing the hurting forget about screaming injustice and talking about your rights. Work on the relationship. Build the relationship. Demonstrate to them the love you wish to see in them. Love creates love and where there is love no rules are needed.