1 JOHN 3:11
“For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;”
We are taught from birth to love one another. We teach our children to love their siblings. We role model our love for one another to our families. As believers, we try to follow Christ’s example and love one another. I think you get the picture. So, why does John even have to tell us this?
Because we are sinful, flesh-ridden creatures who naturally care only about themselves. That may sound harsh, but it’s true. We can never hear this message enough – LOVE ONE ANOTHER. But what exactly does that mean? It means to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others. It means to choose others over ourselves. It means to go that extra mile for the sake of a lost soul who needs to hear the saving message of Jesus.
Kids love people. Most small children are unabashedly quick to tell someone they love them. I have been on playgrounds with kids for minutes and heard them say they loved someone. What we have to do, however, is to teach them to love like Jesus and NOT like the adults in their lives. What? Did I actually just say that? Yep. Our adult idea of loving one another doesn’t necessarily agree with Jesus’.
Jesus loved perfectly. John saw that up front and personal for over three years. He saw His selfless acts of love long before the cross. We have to point our kids to Jesus as the only true model of love for one another. We just can’t trust any other example. We have to do our best to model it for them, all the while knowing we fall woefully short.
Whom could you love better? I can name four or five individuals right now that I know I need to love better. It’s not easy, is it? Some folks are just hard to love, admit it. But Jesus died for us all. He loves us all. I have to be more like Him and less like me. I bet you’re the same.
O Lord, forgive me as I fall so short of loving others. Help me love them as You do.