Have you ever read through God’s Word looking for the “one another” commands? There are a bunch of them! Love one another, serve one another, accept one another, just to name a few. This tells me a couple of things. First, we are not meant to live the Christian life alone. God intends for us to grow in Him through community, through our interactions with other believers. Although by nature I am more of an introverted person and do not mind a quiet evening at home with a book (and much prefer this most of the time), I find that when I study God’s Word with other believers, pray with them, do life with them, that I see so many different aspects of God that I would miss by myself. Second, God gives specific commands for what our interactions are to look like. Our human nature does not lend itself to peaceful, perfect relationships, but we have the blue print for what these relationships should look like in Christ.
Here is an example to start with: John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”.
I saw something in these verses I hadn’t seen before. I normally focus on the “love one another” part, but that is not all. We are to love as Jesus loved us. So, we must ask ourselves, “How did Jesus love?”
Wow. Jesus lived out His love by dying in our place. There is a fullness in that love that is honestly beyond my understanding. It is undeserved. Jesus’ love gives me confidence because there is no fear in His love, yet it spurs me on to obedience as well. While Christ lived on earth, it was love that overflowed as He addressed the crowds, healed the sick, raised the dead, and even, I think, challenged the Pharisees. He wanted more for them than a life of legalism and tradition.
What a model for how I am to love others. I cannot love in the perfect way that Jesus did, and yet this is what I am commanded to seek to do. The only way I know to love others is to try to understand Jesus’ love for me, and to ask to be filled in the same way so that I can love others.
What are your thoughts? Add them in the comments and I would enjoy hearing what you have to say.
Check back in the weeks to come for more “one anothers”!