I am giving you a new command: that you keep on loving each other. In the same way that I have loved you, you are also to keep on loving each other. Everyone will know that you are my talmidim by the fact that you have love for each other. ~ John 13:34-35, CJB
When I think about Saint Augustine’s words, my eyes fill up with tears and my spirit (heart) becomes deeply grieved, because I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that there are so many professed believers in Christ Jesus who deliberately show partiality/favoritism, condescension, disapproval, disgust, rejection/slap in the face, resentment, jealousy, disrespect, envy, and hatred, etc., toward other Body of Christ believers. That truth just boggles my mind!
Food For Thought:
How many people on your email lists have you taken the time to share the love of God with on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis? When is the last time you showed every child of God (that you know) just how much you love him or her?
If God has commanded you to love each other as He loves you so that the world (everybody) would be able to see that you truly are the Lord’s disciples, then why hasn’t the world (everybody) been able to see you showing godly love to everyone, especially to every Household of Faith sibling? More important, why hasn’t every brother and sister in Christ Jesus received that SAME love that God commands you to show to every person who is a disciple of Christ Jesus, and why hasn’t every brother and sister in Christ Jesus received the SAME love God commands you to show to every person who is His (or your) enemy?
If or when you really think about the above questions, with the aid of the Holy Spirit I am sure that you will come to the same conclusions I have come to, which first off is that most of us who have received God’s love have failed to love every believer in Christ Jesus like He loves us! Secondly, I also have concluded that the reason why the world (everybody) has not seen the beauty of most of our souls is because the love of God (godly love) either is reserved only for those people we love as our spouses or as “privileged” family members and “privileged” close friends, or else the love of God (godly love) really just isn’t in us at all!
Even the apostle John agrees with this last reason, for he writes:
If anyone boasts, ‘I love God,’ and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both. 1 John 4:20-21, MSG
Bottom line is that some of our souls just aren’t that beautiful, and that is not just because some people have made it clear, by their lack of involvement in our lives, that they don’t think our souls are beautiful, but more because most of us don’t show love to everyone! Last time I checked, LOVE was an action word, which means we don’t just tell people that we love them; we demonstrate to people just how much we love them!
Besides the Word of God and the leadings, promptings, and teachings of the Holy Spirit on the issue of demonstrating godly love to everybody, there also is one particular Contemporary Christian Rock song that forced me to re-examine my failure in showing the God kind of love to everyone, and this song also moved me to make an immediate radical change. This song is Casting Crowns’ “If We Are The Body.” I have loved this song from the first moment I heard it back in the spring of 2006, in spite of the fact that this song made me look inwardly at myself and see my shortcomings where godly love demonstrations are concerned.
“If We Are The Body” actually was first released in 2003, but since I didn’t listen to Contemporary Christian Rock music that much back then, I never heard this song until several years after its release. However, I am so glad that I was led to listen to a Contemporary Christian Music radio station in the spring of 2006, because every time I have listened to this song, from that time forward, I have been profoundly moved. Please check out the below YouTube video presentation of “If We Are The Body.”
If you’ve never heard Casting Crowns’ song before today, or if you have heard it but the lyrics just haven’t resonated that much in your spirit and soul, then listen to the song again, and again, and again, for as many times as it might take for you to understand the message of the song. The message of Casting Crowns’ song is that every person who calls him or herself a Christian is supposed to be demonstrating God’s kind of love to every human being, and especially to his or her brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. No Exceptions! No Acceptable Excuses!
Is God’s love saturating your whole body, spirit, and soul? Is God’s love in you causing you to show the whole world the beauty of your soul? Is God’s love in you demonstrating to the entire world that you are indeed Christ Jesus’ disciple? Shalom!