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.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Most people who follow Christ that I know are very concerned with how they treat people who don’t know Christ. They have a genuine heart to make sure that they are doing everything they can to help people see the love and care of Christ in their lives.
All of those things are wonderful and can have a wonderful impact on people who don’t trust Jesus to lead their life, But I think there is something even greater that people outside the church expect and are waiting to see.
It is how believers in Christ treat EACH OTHER.
We say and do things to each other with the assumption that the things we say on earth to each other pretty much don’t matter because “we are all going to heaven anyways.”
Now that I am working outside of a single church it is very interesting to see the dynamic between churches and some ministries. It is almost like they are more concerned with the success of only their church and people knowing their names instead of the name of Jesus. These are things people outside of church look at and say, “Wow. If they can’t even love each other, how do they expect me to love their God.”
I think this can also be with some lead pastor’s and their staff. Acting towards each other with a kind of abuse mentally of even emotionally because it is all for the sake of a “higher calling” which is promotion of the Gospel. The problem is that staff is where love and honor needs to START and not just staff members being a means to an end.
This is not saying that we don’t need to identify sin when it is seen or exhibited, but that we operate out of a heart of love and concern for those in the church. It should break our heart when we hear about things that harm the body of Christ instead of the attitude, “Well, that was a long time coming. I mean, everyone knew that was going on and needed to be exposed.”
Each person who calls themselves a follower of Christ needs to first examine their own hearts and intentions, then their relationship to the church body and THEN the world around them. When we FULLY grasp the concept of people knowing we are disciples because of our love for one another, then the world will be so full of Christ they will be beating down the doors of the local church.
These changes start with one person. Let it be us who makes that decision to love more than ANYTHING else today. Have a great week!