“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men [the world] will know that you are my disciples [Christians], if you love one another.” (John 13:34–35, NIV 1984).
My Musings – How are we known by the world around us, our sphere of influence? By our stance on certain issues like abortion, same sex relationships, gender issues, etc.? By the things we do or do not not do? That we attend church every Sunday (does anyone do this regularly anymore)? By what we post on social media (ouch, hitting a little close to home)?
To Jesus, the founder of our faith, it’s having love for one another. It’s not that the other things are or are not important, but sometimes (maybe more than we would like to think), the world does not see us expressing love in how we express these things. Often, quite the opposite. They see wrath and condemnation (things best left to God, the righteous judge), self-righteousness and condescension. These were traits of the Scribes and Pharisees, not the ones Jesus called out of darkness into light.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” It is also likely that people will not care about what we think, say or believe, until they know that we care. For without love for one another, we are nothing more than “a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal…[we] gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:1, 3, NIV 1984). People who read what I say in my musings have a pretty clear idea of what I think and believe. But are they hearing the gong and cymbal or the truth spoken in love?
My Advice – Let’s always lead with love. Otherwise, the truth will likely not be heard. If heard, it will likely not be viewed as credible. And how do we express that love? Jesus said, “as I have loved you.” That’s not merely credible, it’s incredible.