People will know that you are Christians by your love
REV. SAMUEL BOODLE
Published: May 02, 2013
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. – John 13:34-35
It is said that one of the early church writers and defenders of the faith, Tertullian of Carthage, declared that the one thing that converted him to Christianity was not the arguments they gave him because he could find a counterpoint for every argument they would present. G. Curtis Jones wrote, “But they demonstrated something I didn’t have. The thing that converted me to Christianity was the way they loved each other.”
In the above text, Jesus commanded his disciples to love one another. This command also includes us in the Christian church today. Love is important to Christians because love is the nature of God. The Apostle John tells us in I John 4:16, “God is love.”
Even so, love is a most difficult trait for us humans to adopt. Notwithstanding that we have written numerous poems and songs about love, we still find ourselves in a hard place when it comes to loving others.
Many of us find it very easy to love those we choose to admire. It is easy to love those towards whom you magnetically gravitate.
Many will agree that there are some people who are unlovable. Some of them are family members who have caused you great grief or have betrayed your trust. Others may be neighbors or co-workers who are so miserable; they don’t deserve your love.
Yes, it is very difficult to love some people. Some might say that it is impossible. However, the challenge is to love those who we prefer not to love. When we have the love of Christ living within us, we don’t even need to speak words to bring others to faith. They will see it in the way we live.
Jesus gave this command because there are so many of us who think that love should only go to those who we think deserve it. That is why he did not suggest that we love one another. He commanded it.
Love is a one-sided investment. It is risky. You have to stretch yourself when you show love. You become vulnerable. Your whole self is exposed. Some may even call you crazy.
Jesus did this when he took on our burden at Calvary. He was vulnerable and exposed as he stood before Pilate. He stretched himself in going to the cross. In the midst of the persecution, affliction, hate and, scorn, he bore our burden. That is what his love did for you and for me.
More than anyone, Jesus understands the human condition. He is the creator. Because he realizes that, for us, it can be difficult to love others, especially those who hurt us, he did not suggest that we love one another. He commanded that we do so.
Jesus’ words are as prevalent today as they were over 2,000 years ago, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. Those of you, who are my disciples, who believe in me, who follow me, who are in my church, love one another.”
As Christians, we are commanded to love those who are easy to love and those who are unlovable. Therefore, love people like you are crazy. Love will bring down barriers. It will conquer foes. People will know that you are Christians by your love. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at The Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas or telephone: 323-4107; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.