I am saddened tonight by things that have happened to or amongst people I love….things that happen now, happened in the past, or will happen in the future. How easy it is for us to be caught up in the sins of the world; to be dragged down the road of…not hate exactly, but that which is not love.
“A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, so shall you also love one another. By this all will know that you are MY disciples, if you have love towards one another.” John 13:34-35
Our love, our devotion to one another should be without fail, with no hint of question. Actions, sins, words without thought….those should all be questioned, but never our love for one another. As God has loved us…love one another. God has had to put up with SO MUCH MORE from us than ever another does to us, yet somehow, subconsciously, we think that we are entitled to ‘righteous anger’ if someone so much as spits in our direction. I’m not saying this is what anyone I know has done…far from that. But as I watch the world around me, particularly the Christian Church (body of Christ), I see so many actions, words, deeds, and thoughts that are done without love; either as living by the letter of the law, as the Pharisee’s did, or by adapting ourselves to the ways of the world ‘for the sake of our witness’, or even by thoughtlessness stemming from a lack of love.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and everyone that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not, does not know God; for God is love.”
I John 4:7-8
“If anyone says, ‘I love God’, yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.”
I John 4:20
We are children of GOD, my brothers and sisters! God has entrusted US to be ‘salt and light’ to the world. If we refuse to have, much less show, love towards one another, then our entire witness is rendered moot. If we do not strive to live by the Life Manual God has given us, how can we go to another and entreat them to live their lives according to what we think ourselves above? By having not love, we do, have, and will continue to, damage our witness of Christs’ abundant love (Ephesians 2:4-6; But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love with which He has loved us, even when we were dead in sins, had made us alive together with Christ, [by grace are you saved] and has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.).
‘My brethren, these things ought not to be so…’….How do you, how do I, convey love? Do we try to at all? Is that (our love and/or our attempt to love) obvious to the world around us….or are we just one more serious of people running through life, striving to gain the most we can for ourselves, giving pain to others, but unwilling to receive it ourselves? Do we live a double standard?
This post is as much to myself as to you; yet I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to look again with new eyes at our lives…at our love. And to examine whether God would have us change some things in both.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. LOVE NEVER FAILS.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8