Many of us have this weird idea that Jesus loosened things up. Some of us think that for centuries emerging from the Old Testament Law, everything was rigid and difficult, and then Jesus showed up with his peace, love, and good vibes and just told everyone to love everybody.
Why do we think it's easier to love people than it is to just be religious?
I'm not sure people who think and speak that way really even know what love is.
Maybe the reason we don't all, in the spirit of unity and rainbows, just set aside our differences and love each other is because it's really freaking hard to do that.
Just as an example, Jesus said that if you lust after somebody, it's the same as sleeping with them, and if you hate somebody, it's the same as murdering them. Where in the world would we get the idea this makes things easier? It's a lot easier to not kill somebody than it is to not hate them. It's a lot more difficult to not lust than it is to not have sex.
And it's a lot easier to follow some rules everyone can see me keep than it is to truly, actually love people.
Anybody can be on their best behavior. But to love someone who hates you? That takes Jesus and his cross.