Love One Another? Why?

John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Ephesians 4:32
Be ye kind one to another. . . forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Remember when you were a kid and your mom or dad would say, "Now be nice to your brother." And you might not say it but you were at least thinking, "Why? He isn't being nice to me. It isn't fair that I have to be kind to him when he's being mean to me."

As a believer in Christ, at times your Heavenly Father says the same thing to you, "Be nice to your brother. . ." Our human tendency is to shout, "No! I don't want to! Even though he's a Christian, he isn't treating me nicely. It isn't fair that I have to be kind to him when he is being mean to me." Still your Heavenly Father says, "Be kind to one another." In fact, He goes o far as to say, "Love one another as I have loved you." And when you ask, "Why,?" He replies, "So others will see that you follow Me."

In The Mark of the Christian, Francis Schaffer states that the love of Christ in the lives of believers is what sets them apart from the world. He concludes that the world has a right to judge the authenticity of Christ's claims to be the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God, by what they see in the lives of His followers. Was He the One who could change lives? Are the lives of His followers different than those of the world? Do they truly love one another in difficult times?

Loving one another includes being willing to respectfully confront one another when necessary, to work to find solutions to disagreements, and to forgive those who hurt you. That means giving up your desire to be angry and to get back at the offender. The secret lies is in abiding in Christ.

Beloved Father, make me ever mindful that the world is watching my life. Guide my thoughts and guard my lips when feelings of hurt and fear overtake me. Let me show love to my brothers and sisters so that others will say, "Truly Christ can change a life. Surely He is the Son of God."

By Ann Shorb
©Copyright Ann Shorb, 2006

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Related articles and devotionals:
God's Love Forgives
No Greater Love
Closer Than a Brother

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