You can read tons of posts about loving or not loving the church, but the truth is it’s not the church that frustrates us. It’s the people in the church. The church as the family of believers. And…
Families are messy and church families are no exception because any time you put imperfect people together . . . well, you get messy.
And it’s hard to love messy people isn’t it?
But that’s exactly what we’re called to do. Love messy people . . . just like us.
“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” John 13:34–35
How is this big messy faith family supposed to obey Jesus’ command, live together and represent Him to the world? What exactly does this love for one another look like?
10 Ways to Love Each Other in the Church
1. Look at every person as someone deeply loved by God – because they are.
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8
2. Pray for each other intentionally – especially the ones who annoy you.
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Colossians 4:2
But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! Matthew 5:44
3. Share with each other as God leads you – what He’s given . . . your possessions and abilities.
All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had. Acts 4:32
4. Spend time with one another – come together regularly.
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. Acts 2:42
5. Reassure each other with the truth – always spoken in love with compassion.
“Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.” Ephesians 4:15
6. Quickly forgive one another – even when it’s hard.
Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Colossians 3:13
7. Listen to each other with kindness and compassion – slow to speak or get angry.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. James 1:19
You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Luke 6:36
8. Care for one another – pay attention. Really get to know the needs of others.
This makes for harmony among the members, so that all the members care for each other. If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it, and if one part is honored, all the parts are glad. 1 Corinthians 12:25–26
9. Encourage each other – there is strength when we stand together.
So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11
10. Make an effort to simply get along with each other – have a good attitude.
So let’s agree to use all our energy in getting along with each other. Romans 14:19
Groups are known for all kinds of things, but Jesus said groups of believers should be known for one thing . . . love!
Jesus-like love . . . unconditional, sacrificial, and forgiving.
I know it’s not easy. There’s that woman who is soooo annoying and the guy who insists on always doing things the OLD way. But we can do this. The problems aren’t new. Read Paul’s letters to the churches. It’s an attitude and with God’s help, we can love the way He asks us to.
Dwight L. Moody once said, “Show me a church where there is love, and I will show you a church that is a power in the community.”
We live in a time when connections with other people are harder to make and maintain. The church has the perfect opportunity to help people connect with each other through God’s love given in Jesus. And once we truly love each other well inside the church, once we show the world God’s beautiful love . . . they’ll want what we have.
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