So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciple.
Jesus is love. He loves everyone all the time. He is the only one who expresses God’s love perfectly, and this is what HE says about love. But look at to whom he is speaking? He’s talking to his followers. This order is for Christians loving Christians. Our love for each other, our brotherly love from within the Church is what shows the world we belong to Jesus. That’s interesting.
Some Believers mistakenly take this directive and apply it absolutely everywhere, and that is why they become unhappy and burned out. Christians should get together and have outreaches and share the Good News with everyone, but the unconditional, brotherly love that Christians express to fellow Believers is what proves that Jesus is with us. Expressing this kind of love to unbelievers, God mockers, and people who do not regard the Faith is confusing to them. Psychologists would call it enabling, parents would call it indulging, and regular people would call it being a sucker. Now, I’m not saying not to love everyone; love the sinner and hate the sin - that’s a thing. But if the unbelieving world looks inside the Believing world and sees the same bickering, backbiting, lawsuits, social hierarchies, and prejudice that’s on the outside, why in the world would they ever want to come in?
But if they look in the church window and see forgiveness, helpfulness, care, genuine concern, and problems being resolved Biblically for all, then they would like a piece of that action. They would know there is something different about being here as opposed to being at their country club or something. Jesus is here, and we’re treating each other like he treats us all the time. It involves humility, unselfishness, and a whole lot of grace, and we pour it out on each other whether we deserve it or not. A group of people making an awesome family that everyone would want to be a part of is what the unbelieving world should be seeing when they peep inside.
1 John 4:20-21 confirms:
If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a fellow believer, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their fellow believers.
I’m always so thankful when we get together with other Believers like at our women’s breakfasts at church. It’s like having a room full of sisters. You have made us Family, real family simply by having Jesus in common. It’s so wonderful to see some of those dear ladies who wouldn’t get any others hugs, or have anyone show them any concern get hugged, loved on, visited with and cherished. It is a great feeling, and it is great to be a part of a “family” like that. I pray for the ones who leave church out of anger, selfishness, bitterness and a lack of love for the other Believers and ask that they get their hearts right with you so that they can join in with the Family again that always has welcoming arms. I love you and thank you and pray in Jesus name, amen.