I have a little habit of visiting Christian message boards. Often, I admit that I waste precious time visiting these sites. Time after time, though, one thing comes through. Christians can be unkind to one another, sometimes downright vicious. It does not edify and build up the Body of Christ.
Often unbelievers visit these sites. And often they turn away from Jesus because of what they see there. They see us acting no different than they do. They are searching....searching for the God of the Universe and we turn them away by our lack of love for one another. Jesus said very plainly: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this ALL MEN WILL KNOW that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
(John 13: 34-35).
I have to admit that one of my goals in this new year, indeed for the rest of my life,is to learn and apply what agape love truly is. First to my husband, my family, to the Body of Christ, and finally to all the world. Have you read what true love does in I Cor. 13? I admit that I fall way short of this every single day. But I am starting to get a taste, just a tiny taste of God's agape love toward me. And sometimes it will bring me to tears. That is what will give me the ability to love others, by viewing "what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge..." (Eph. 3: 18-19).
Even the Psalmist knew this when he told us the importance of loving our brethren. He writes an entire Psalm about it.
1"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!
2 It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon, coming down upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing--life forever."
God commands a blessing upon us loving our brethren. I ask the Lord for the rest of my life to truly show me what this means and for the grace to apply it daily.