One of the most fundamental things about being a Christian is that we are to love one another. I'll be the first to admit that this can be difficult to do and that I see far too many brothers and sisters in Christ not doing this. Often, it's because of petty reasons, like skin color or differences in beliefs. Sometimes, it's for even more petty reasons.
Two such situations that have appeared to me recently are heavy on my mind right now. I'm not going to name any names. It's cliche, I know, but it's not my place to put their business out there. Nonetheless, knowing what two dear friends of mine are being put through, knowing also that I can not physically reach the individuals who are putting them through it, I've felt compelled to make this post ever since yesterday evening.
In order to love each other truly, you have to be able to forgive each other and to overlook your other brothers and sisters when they speak with the tongue of the Devil and try to convince you that lies are truth. If you truly love a person and you truly know them, you're not going to believe something you know, in your heart, to be an untruth. You're going to be able to look that person in the eye and ask them to stop speaking ill of the person you love. When they realize the lies they're feeding aren't being bought, they'll stop and look, unfortunately, for a new target.
If you love somebody, truly love them, you're willing to overlook small problems and differences and work through the larger ones. You're willing to let them be who they are, and you want them to be right with Christ. After all, if they're not right with Christ, no matter how much you love each other, you'll only have this lifetime, at best, with one another, and if you love somebody, that's enough. You want an eternity with that person, with that soul, and there's only one way to achieve that, as we all know: through God and Jesus.
Which brings me to another point. It astounds me every time I hear somebody say that a person is not able to be friends with some one of the opposite gender. Are we all to lust after our brothers and sisters? If we can have blood brothers and our Special Some Ones realize that there is no romantic love between us and our blood family, why, then, can we not have brothers and sisters in Christ and friendship and not feel anything romantic or sexual for them? Sometimes a hug is just a hug, a kiss on the cheek is just a kiss, a sign of friendship and comfort, of reassurance and PLATONIC love.
A person who is right with the Lord has to love his or her brothers and sisters. Part of that love is being there for each other, spending time with one another, making the other person laugh, giving him or her a reason to smile when the world at large seems to offer none . . . The world is already such a dark place. Must we make it that much darker by trying to smote out the love that our Lord wants us to show one another?
We're supposed to love one another. We're supposed to lift each other up. We're supposed to be there for one another and show our brothers and sisters the love that Jesus shows us. That's why we forgive. That's why we reach out when some one is hurting. If you truly consider yourself to be a son, or daughter, of Jesus, how can you expect those you love not to show this love? How can you expect them to pass through life silently, never talking to others, never showing the love that God and Jesus wants us all to show?
We're not supposed to judge one another, and I'm trying very hard not to do that. But again, I ask: What's wrong with friendship? What's wrong with showing the love for our brothers and sisters that we, as Christians, are supposed to live our whole lives showing? We are to be lights in this world, beacons of our Master, beacons of hope and love as Jesus wants us to show. Don't darken those lights; help each other to shine instead.
Don't be what knocks each other down in this world; be there to lift one another up and to lift up our brothers and sisters as well. Don't hate. Don't try to keep others from loving. Love, and encourage each other to love -- not in the romantic or sexual sense, but in the platonic, in the way and love of the family of which we are all members. Don't let the Devil ruin your life with jealousy. Tell him you know the difference between love of a family and love between two hearts joined together. You know it's what our Lord and Savior would want: love, be loved, and spread love, not hate, not fear, not petty jealousies. Love is what He's all about, after all. <3
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” -- John 15:12-13
"For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues. They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause. In return for my love they accuse me, but I give myself to prayer." -- Psalm 109:2-4
"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear." -- Ephesians 4:29
"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." -- Colossians 2:8
"So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." -- Galatians 6:10
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near." -- Hebrews 10:23-25
"Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing." -- 1 Thessalonians 5:11
"Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace." -- Peter 1 4:8-10
"So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another." -- Romans 12:5
"Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity." -- Timothy 1 5:1-2
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” -- John 13:34-35
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” -- Matthew 22:37-39
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” -- John 4:7-8