I think as a Christ follower I often times feel overwhelmed by the logistics, rules, regulations, and expectations laid before us. However, lately I have had the feeling that we are over complicating the process.
God has just one rule and calling for his children: to show love.
Jesus says in John 13:34-35: “A new command I give to you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
That’s it. That’s all we have to do. That’s all he asks of us. That’s all he wants to see ALL the time and to EVERYBODY.
Loving one another is easy enough, right? Well, if you really consider your day to day interactions, I doubt most of us can say we demonstrate love all of the time. If you’re like me, the people God calls us to love can be very irritating. Not only that, but the body of Christ is made up of imperfect people. How do imperfect people demonstrate perfect love?
How do we love others as Christ has loved us?
Lucky for us, Christ was not only an amazing teacher but a perfect guideline and example for us to follow.
Jesus, The Example
Jesus truly loved everybody. He loved the untouchables (Mark 1:40-45), he loved the hated (Mark 2:16-17), he loved the lost (Luke 7:36-50). He even loved those he disagreed with (religiously, politically, morally, etc) no matter how angry they made him or how much they persecuted him (Luke 23:24).
He showed each individual the same respect regardless of their status or past sins. He even loved those he KNEW would betray him. That is truly incredible.
He Loves Me?
Reading these truths are difficult to comprehend, but then I look at my own life. I know God loves me. Even though I know I have made him angry. Regardless of what my sins have been and are going to be. He loves me even though my vision of my life isn’t always the desires He has for my life. He loves me even though I don’t always show love.
Lately, I have been very convicted on how to demonstrate love. After praying about it, I have noticed small little opportunities to show love.
Through this process I have come to these questions:
- What would it look like if, instead of trying to run into the restaurant to make sure you get your table before somebody else, you run to grab the door for them?
- What would it look like if, at a four way stop, you wave on others before you go?
- What would it look like if you told the person you disagree with the most (i.e. politically, religiously, etc) that you hope they have a good day? What if you told them that,no matter what, you respect them?
- What would happen if, when there was the last of something in your house, if you offered it to your loved ones?
These few little practical thoughts have helped me not only feel closer to Christ, but have helped my day to day frustrations seem a lot less important. The more I put others first and show love to loved ones and strangers alike, the happier I seem to be.
And in a world that seems far too dim far too often, what better way to offer a little light?
Todd Clark Jr. is a long time attender at Trinity Wesleyan Church and a recent graduate from Indiana University Kokomo.
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