And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 1 John 3:23
There is an expectation, actually it is a command that we should love one another. Jesus prayed for His children to be one and love each other. This is the signature characteristic identifying His children. We love as He first loved us.
I find personally there are some stumbling blocks that I create that make it a little be hard to love others.
- First, and not in any order of frequency or importance, I get offended. This requires that I have to forgive them in order to love.
- How would your marriage look differently if each person granted forgiveness?
- How would conversation and relationships be meaningful in your family, if you forgave one another
- How would your workplace look, if people extended forgiveness?
- Second, I find that judging people creates a hurdle that is hard to jump over to love them
- Do you place people in a category either above or below you?
- Do you have a lens to look at people through race, denomination, wickedness, or other ways that makes that group of people harder for you to love?
- Lastly, I exempt myself from the command. I don’t do this in a flagrant way as to point my finger at God and say “Iam not going to love others.” Rather, I just hope that He lowers the standard for me because I am special in someway. I know how lame this sounds, but in reality we give ourselves a pass that we are unwilling to extend to others. We act as if the things that we have experienced, the trauma that has occured, or the struggles that we have had to face, create a “get out of jail free” card.
Jesus loves us, with the good, the bad and the ugly. His Spirit will guide us into the appropriate responses to love ALL of those that we encounter. May we all live and die with this indictment, “He or she loved everyone.” Jimbob is learning, and so can you.
Blessings, Love y’all