“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
Not a request or a suggestion, but a commandment. A commandment to love each other because that’s how the world will know we are Jesus disciples.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13 the specifics of what it looks like to love like Jesus:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. v. 4-7
If you’re like me, these verses make you feel guilty. I can think of a gazillion times when I haven’t lived with Jesus like love, when I’ve stubbornly wanted my way, haven’t been patient or kind, and wore irritability with pride. Ugh.
Relationships are messy because people are messy. We have different personalities, gifts, and abilities. We’ve lived through both good and bad experiences and known both joy and misery. And we get so focused on ourselves that we fail to love and accept each other.
We point accusing fingers at one another trying to feel better about ourselves. And it will never work. Never.
The only way to feel better about ourselves and know the blessings of peace and joy is through love. Jesus like love. 1 Corinthians 13 love.
In every relationship and every situation. With those we know well and those we don’t. In every conversation spoken or written. With those we agree and those we don’t.
- doesn’t demand it’s own way. (NLT)
- is not selfish. (NCV)
- is not self-seeking. (NIV)
- isn’t always “me first.” (MSG)
Jesus like love goes against human nature, which is why it is vitally important for those who follow Jesus to be examples of His love.
For the rest of the month we are going to look at how to make our various relationships shine with Jesus like love. For now, make a list of each of your relationships and ask yourself, “am I loving _________ with Jesus like love?”
It’s not easy and sometimes we just won’t want to love them at all, but then we’ll remember….
What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has ears to hear the sorrows and sighs of men. That is what love looks like. ~St. Augustine
Love looks like Jesus.