Love One Another as I Have Loved You
Love each other
In the book of John (John 13: 34-35), Jesus says to his disciples, "This new command I give you, that you love one another, as I have loved you... By this everyone will know that you are my disciples". For those of us who believe Jesus to be part of the Trinity, then these are the words of a loving Father to his children. It does not say love those who love you or love only Christians. It simply says love each other as I have loved you.
Unfortunately, for a good number of Christians, being judgemental, self-righteous, self-serving and petty among many other vices have taken over this command. It says in Romans, "All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one". It is sad that a good number of Christians today are no longer reading the scripture for themselves, allowing their leaders and Church leaders and self-proclaimed "righteous men" to lead them astray with sweet words that sound good, but are not.
Loving each other as Christ loved us means praying for each other, as Christ did for us, helping each other, as Christ did for the sick and the condemned, and standing up the weak and persecuted, as Christ did for those who were considered unclean. Do not be wise in your own eyes and deeds, like the Pharisee who knelt before God saying "I thank you, God, that I am not like other people—cheaters, sinners, adulterers" in the book of Luke. In his own prayers, this Pharisee forgot about his own pride and self-righteousness. The plank in his own eye was so big that he could not see his own sin and shortcomings. He had not shown the spotlight on himself to see how far he had fallen. With a sense of self-righteousness, he could not help but stand and judge others. This is the sad state of many Christians today.
I have been reading the book of Psalms lately, and have found the word "Mercy" to appear so many times. David understood his shortcomings very well. He cries for mercy and God's love in almost every turn. Keep in mind that this is the guy who received strength from God to kill a giant and turn away those who sought to destroy his people. The very same guy who with God's favor became king. This very guy calls for mercy time and again knowing very well that he is only human.
I have loved you
Pray for each other
Pray not only for those you call friends and family but also those you may not particularly like. Remember that God knows everything past, present and future as he knows your very heart. In God's knowledge, the person you hate and condemn today may be the one that inspires and changes lives next year. God knows, you don't. Therefore, love and pray for each other as Christ did for us. This is an important command because it gives Christ's disciples one job and one job only, to love. This involves praying for each other, helping each other, alerting others when it is clear they are doing what is wrong, but not being judgemental and self-righteous in the process.
Remember the father of the prodigal son? his hands were always open, both for the son who stayed home and the one who decided to leave and do his thing. That was a loving father, who even slaughtered a fat cow for the prodigal son when he came back home. Now compare this loving father to the son who decided to stay home. The "good" son was not particularly thrilled that the prodigal son received such a loving welcome back home. He is representative of many Christians today. They are so self-righteous that they would love to see those considered "bad and evil" destroyed. This is not loving. Christ wants us to be like that dad, hoping and praying that the so-called prodigal son will come back home.
Remember to love
The sad truth is that most of us, through our actions, have done so much to prevent others from coming to God. We've done so much to make others hate God and his people. All because we have forgotten one of the most important commands that Jesus gave, that we love each other as he loved us. He loved us to the point of self-sacrifice. It's really sad to see those who are supposed to teach the word of God teaching their flock to hate certain groups of people, telling them that they are better than others and God will only look upon them with favor. They talk as though they know the mind of God and His knowledge of now and the time to come. I've actually heard a pastor tell his Church that people should stay with their own kind (with regards to race) as the Church cheered and nod their heads in agreement. Christ never taught this. His disciples would find him with sinners, and those from other tribes who were regarded as unclean. He taught his disciples to go and preach to all the gentiles; noting that the Kingdom of God belongs to all who came to Him.
We are called to love and love fully. It says in the Bible that it is by loving that others will know that you are Christ's disciple. Judgment belongs to God, not man. Man is told to love. If you consider yourself a Christian, then you should learn to love and avoid being a stumbling block to those who wish to come to God. Love is a beautiful thing. Show love to others and make their day a little better. We are all going through things one way or another, and showing love will always go a long way. You can find videos on Youtube about people doing some good for others and the joy it creates. This is how it should be with Christ's disciples.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Patrick