Love One Another
There has been one thought that has been in my mind and on my heart for quite some time, and it’s something that I recently wrote about for this website, and that is “Love God, love people.” Over and over in the New Testament, you will read these words: “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself,” or words very similar. This was not without purpose; it was designed that way by the Holy Spirit for our benefit. To repeat what was written earlier, it’s not hard to say that one loves God, but to not love your fellow man is not really showing the love of God. The perfect example of this is the parable mentioned by Christ, and one that many of us grew up hearing—the Good Samaritan.
Simply put, a man was beaten nearly to death by thieves and robbers, and two individuals, one a priest and the other a Levite, saw this man lying on the ground and did nothing to help him. They even went so far as to cross on the other side of the road to not look upon this beaten man. However, a Samaritan, one who was looked at by Jews as out of the covenant, and for all practical purposes, an enemy, saw him, had compassion for him, and helped him.
What the Lord is saying through the story of the Good Samaritan is that true works will follow those who are truly born again. Now, allow me to clarify that statement. Am I suggesting that works are the be-all and end-all for believers? No. Am I suggesting that a Christian, one who loves the Lord with all of his heart and soul, will perform good deeds? Yes. Let me elaborate. As a believer, our focus should never be totally on good works, but rather on Christ and Him crucified. However, if one’s faith is correctly anchored in Christ and the Cross, good works will automatically flow from that believer, for proper faith always leads to, or produces, proper works. Those good deeds will come freely from a believer with no strings attached and no self-promotion. You do so because it’s the right thing to do.
John the Beloved wrote, “Love one another.” This, as he would bear out, is not some new fangled doctrine, but something that has been, or should have been, understood. As believers, we are to love our neighbors, which should come freely from us, but that doesn’t mean that we are to condone a person’s sin.
True love tells a person when he is wrong, but does it in the right spirit. There is a not a haughty, super-spiritual, holier-than-thou attitude that should come from us when telling someone his wrongdoing, but rather in a loving, Christlike manner. When done right, a seed will planted that will germinate in the life of that unbeliever and will continue to move upon his heart. But if done in a selfish, braggadocios way, it will have the opposite effect on that person, causing that person to turn against you—and the Lord—in anger.
To love your neighbor means for us to be Christlike in our attitudes towards others. Christ was and is the very epitome of love, and we should do everything in our power to emulate our Saviour. It has been stated, and rightfully so, that the Cross of Christ is the greatest display of God’s love in human history. He loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die in our place, and with such good news comes the responsibility of telling others. Love your neighbor, and show him the love of God in all that you do. Be His hands and feet and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to those around you.