This week we continue in our series Love Is….
Last week, we explored how to love like Jesus in grace starved world. This week, we seek to understand what it means to love each other.
Yesterday, we celebrated Valentine’s Day. A day we commemorate with flowers, chocolate, and cards. We confess our undying love for our spouse or significant other.
Love is more than a once per year tradition – it is unflinching, sacrificial, and unconditional (or at least is supposed to be). Watch any Hallmark movie, and love always wins out – there is still a happy ending.
However, life does not always have a happy ending. Valentine's Day can be especially difficult for the single, divorced, or widowed among society. The good news is, God’s love is above all the pain and suffering we may have experienced in the past.
Some people would argue that their closest relationships were with their friends and not their significant others or even their blood relatives. Our world right now has a lot of hurt and anger in it. What we need is more love and less shouting.
John lays the groundwork for believers in how they should act and behave.
”This is the teaching you have heard from the beginning: We must love each other.” — 1 John 3:11
From the dawn of time, God shows His love to us. When we messed up the whole plan in the Garden of Eden, God sent His one and only son to us as an act of love for us.
Love is part of the framework of this world, and yet we thumb our nose at what love is.
Further down the passage in 1 John 3, John says,
”We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” — 1 John 3:16
Somewhere along the way, we the world forgot or chose to ignore Jesus’ model and turned to a “me first” mentality.
We can all agree that our world is in a state of chaos. Not just because of the pandemic, but we lack love for our fellow humans. We have lost sight of caring for our neighbors and loving our fellow brothers and sisters.
In some cases, we have seen the non-church world do this better than the “capital C” church world. The Church may agree to disagree on many issues, but the one issue we should never disagree on is – loving each other.
We live in a broken world, leading to broken relationships that may not be healed until we see each other face-to-face in heaven. If we are honest with ourselves, we probably are guilty of a few of these.
John also says,
“Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.” — 1 John 3:18
Our love for each other will be visible in the words we speak and the actions we undertake.
What does love look like?
Love looks like caring for the needy and the elderly. It looks like praying for your colleagues, friends, and family.
Love shares a walk together or opening your home to someone in need.
Love may look like a warm dinner to someone who hasn’t had one in a long time. Love comes in a variety of packages, and it doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all mentality.
Love is being humble and gracious even when you are debating challenging issues. God is love, and we want to be like our Heavenly Father.
This week, take time to show love to someone. Your kindness may open the door of their heart.
Lord, thank you for the reminder from John to love each other. Forgive us where we have not loved as we should. Help us to love our brothers and sisters in the Church and our communities so they may see You in us. Give us a blessed day. Amen!