This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. – John 15:12 NASB
Love one another. Jesus is very clear about how we are to treat other Christians. On the surface, loving those with whom we choose to serve God with seems pretty easy. However, there is much more to Jesus’ meaning of love. Jesus tells us to love our fellow Christians in the way that He loved us—and he died for us.
Dying for a child or spouse might not seem like that big of a stretch to some of us, but dying for a Christian is another story. How much should we give of ourselves to a fellow Christian? What does this agape love look like in practice? How do we love others as Jesus did? All of this provided some great discussion in my Sunday school class this morning. I’m still thinking about it.
The apostle Paul gives us some good examples of what love looks like in life in 1 Corinthians 13. This is quite a checklist and is more than a pretty poem to be read at weddings. As you read the following, consider how well you love those around you.
- is patient
- is kind
- is not jealous
- does not brag
- is not arrogant
- does not act unbecomingly
- does not seek its own
- is not provoked
- does not take into account a wrong suffered
- does not rejoice in unrighteousness
- rejoices with the truth
- bears all things
- believes all things
- hopes all things
- endures all things
Love never fails.
When I compare how I love others to how God says we should, I realize that I fail miserably much of the time because my selfishness gets in the way. Plain and simple, love is hard. Fortunately, love never fails either. God’s love for us as well as His Holy Spirit inside of us enables us to love others. Our love for others can eventually right any wrong. Commit to love better today. Ask God to empower you. God never fails.
For further thought:
1) How well do you love the fellow believers God has placed in your life?
2) From the “checklist” in 1 Corinthians 13, what is your biggest challenge?
3) What baby step will you take today to love others as Jesus commands?
Janna Rust is a Professional Coach and Speaker dedicated to encouraging others towards lives God intends for them. For more information, visit her at www.purposefulpartnerships.com.