Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.This doesn't mean that if you refrain from harming your neighbour, then you've fulfilled the law. Rather, having loved your neighbour in word and action, the sum of these does good to your neighbour rather than harm. The previous verse gives more context.
For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery," "You shall not murder," "You shall not steal," "You shall not bear false witness," "You shall not covet," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."To love your neighbour as yourself works like this: When your body is hungry, do you feed it? When your body is in danger, do you protect it? You are demonstrating by feeding and protecting youself, a love for yourself. In the same way, if your neighbour is hungry, feed him, and if he is in danger, protect him.
We all love ourselves -- we all seek to eat, drink, stay comfortable, and stay safe. It is extremely rare to find anyone who willing seeks opportunities to starve to death. All the things that we would have for ourselves in this regard, seek also for the neighbour. This is what it means to love others as you love yourself.
It is not enough just to avoid harming. One must actively pursue loving.
© Copyright Bruce M. Axtens, 2015