Love One Another

** These things I command you, that ye love one another. ** John 15:17

** This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. ** Juan 15:12

In our last post, Love your Neighbor, we talked about being present when someone is going through a tough trial. Being present can mean a call, a note, prayer, a visit, a gift of flowers, or lending a hand in the daily tasks that overwhelm them when life goes wrong.

Today, let’s talk about loving others when things are more normal. I think it is a bit harder to love someone that is giving us a hard time on our good day than it is to reach out to someone who is suffering on their bad day.

All of us fall short sooner or later in our people skills. All of us have sensitive spots in our character or our personality that can be wounded by the wrong words or actions of others. Even if we manage to react the right way in the moment, our residual response once we are in private doesn’t always line up with Christ’s response of prayer, compassion and truth.

1 Corinthians 13 tells us that to love others we need to:

-Be longsuffering….or very patient….endlessly patient with the flaws of others, because the Lord is endlessly patient with ours.

-Be kind…gentle, encouraging, responding with merciful words and loving gestures.

-Be humble…not vaunting ourselves or being puffed up…we are NOT better than anyone. We all come short of God’s glory. And He is our measuring stick, not the nasty person that just insulted us, right?

-Upright…behaving correctly…doing what is right even when the temptation is to not do right. It is speaking kindly and patiently to the one who hurts us, both publicly and in private. Both verbally and in our hearts.

-Seeks not her own…it doesn’t have to be my way all the time. Others have good ideas. Others have better ideas. Others can bring us forward into the future instead of being stuck in the past. Others can have a better vision than us. Just because someone has a different way of doing things doesn’t make them wrong or ungodly. They are just different and God may be using them and their skills and talents to shake some things up and move everyone forward. Love allows change.

-Not be short tempered….not be easily provoked…not be easily irritated….not being quick to condemn the words or thoughts or ideas or plans of others. It is not having a death grip on our days, our hours, our decisions, or our plans. Love listens and thinks and finds the good in the words and actions of others.

Love thinks no evil….about anyone. Ever. About their actions, decisions, or choices. We are not their judge. We are not their condemner. But, we can all do better at allowing the Lord to be in charge of other peoples’ lives. He hasn’t lost touch with them, He isn’t surprised by their words or actions. He is still God and He isn’t making any mistakes or lost touch with the situation.

three heart windchimes

That is 2 out of 4 verses on loving others from 1 Corinthians 13. There are 2 more key verses. But I think what we have already gives us plenty of homework. We all can do a little polishing in a few corners of our hearts.

We can love our neighbors when they are in a trial and be there to encourage and strengthen them, but we can also love them by just being kind and patient and thinking the best of them. None of us have a life with no flaws or problems. None of us have it all figured out. We are all on the same road of discovery and are all learning by trial and error.

** This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. ** Juan 15:12

Jesus showed us how to love at all costs. With His life, His death and His Words and His actions.

Now, it’s our turn.

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