Tuesday, January 7, 2014

By Our Love

Few things hurt my heart more than Christians bashing other Christians. 

It pains me to see the consequential result of their words or behavior, and the effect it can have in many ways - including on people's views of Christians as a whole. However, I will choose to not be driven into responsive shame brought by those whose words or actions do not seem to measure. I know that the confidence of my faith should come from no one but solely the Lord! When Paul wrote to the church of Corinth (1 Corinthians 12), he addressed their current sin - not out shame from their actions or pride from his own - but in a determination to speak the truth in love! I pray this will be the initial response of my own heart when faced with similar struggles.

Today I've been meditating on this passage of scripture:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?" ~ Matthew 5:43-47

It seems many Christians have taken that verse to the extreme: we are finding it easier and easier to love the world, yet are coming to hate those who share with us in the Body of Christ. Do we agree with everything other Christians do? No. Will we ever? Very unlikely. Do we sometimes want to cover our eyes at the actions of other believers? Absolutely.

Who would have thought the biggest downfall for the Church could be the Church itself? I am convinced that if the children of God humbly exercised love, accountability and forgiveness among one another - as we have been called to do - we would see immeasurable transformation in the progression of God's kingdom here on earth. 

Jesus calls us to love the unlovable. To forgive the unforgivable. To reconcile what was meant for Him. Well, sometimes our brothers and sisters will be the unlovable ones. There will be times when forgiving them seems impossible. Sometimes, if we're honest with ourselves, we do not want to be reconciled to particular members of the family of God. But do you know the beautiful thing about God's love? He didn't just give enough to satisfy our hearts - he has lavished His love upon us so that it overflows!  It's a gift that is meant to be shared! We need to just trust in His provision.

Love covers wrong. Mind you this does not mean it justifies wrong, but rather it allows forgiveness to have the overriding word. "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." 1 Peter 4:8

God is love and will faithfully supply us with all the love we need to share with others. "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." ~ 1 John 4:7

Despite our various shapes and sizes, love - for God and for one another - unifies us! "And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." ~ Colossians 3:14

The words of this convicting hymn have been playing on repeat in my head. They will know we are Christians by our love for one another! How are we doing, truly?

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord,
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored. And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love, Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
And together we’ll spread the news that God is in our land.

We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
We will work with each other, we will work side by side,
And we’ll guard each one’s dignity and save each one’s pride.

All praise to the Father, from whom all things come,
And all praise to Christ Jesus, his only Son,
And all praise to the Spirit, who makes us one.

And they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love,
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.



  1. Beautiful post - truth spoken in love! Praying for this to be said of the American church. I believe our brothers and sisters in countries that experience persecution live in this reality because of the necessity of leaning on each other for survival.

    1. You are absolutely right. And though the American church is not persecuted - at least in the same ways or to the same extent as elsewhere - what an amazing opportunity we have to connect with those who are!