Love One Another
by Stephanie Olson, Set Me Free Ministries Co-founder
As we are gearing up for school to start again, I’ve noticed an odd phenomenon in my family. The closer we get to the first day of school, the more my kids fight with each other. The yelling, the lack of sharing, the hurting each other’s feelings … well, it breaks a mother’s heart. And I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that it drives me up a wall!
As I began to ponder about these strange happenings (while locked safely in my bathroom), I thought about what it must be like for the Lord when His own children fight and bicker, when we treat each other with unkindness, when we refuse to share with each other, or when we hurt each other’s feelings. I began to think it must truly break His heart.
I would assume that most of us are quite familiar with the scripture John 3:16. But how familiar are we with 1 John 3:16? It says this; “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
And then it goes on to say this: “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” (1 John 3:18-24)
You see, when we love the Lord, we will love our brothers and sisters in Christ. We will sacrifice for them, we will be honest with them in love, and we will treat them with respect, because that is what God commands us to do. And when we love Jesus, we do what He says.
I am also reminded how guilty I am of this “back-to-school attitude” I have at times with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Let us all treat each other with great respect and kindness.
Jesus tells us this in John 13:34-35: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Okay, Jesus, I choose to walk in love. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go break up a fight.