The other night one of the news channels aired video clips from the Rodney King beating, and the riots and civil unrest that followed. It was a troubling time in our nation’s history. The one thing that most people probably remember is the statement Rodney King made in an attempt to stem the violence. He is famous for the plea, “Can’t we all just get along?”
Such a question might come up time and time again in any person’s life. If there is more than one person in a single place there is likely to be some disagreement, some conflict that might arise. But we as believers would like that everyone could just get along.
In the gospel of John we have a command from Jesus. What is the command? How are we to love one another? What does such love show?
As children of God and believers in Jesus Christ not only should we desire that everyone gets along, we are commanded by Jesus himself that we should love one another. And that is not a light command, not a simple request for affection.
Jesus tells us that we should love one another in the same way as he loves us. Such a love is a powerful love. The love of Christ is a sacrificial love, a giving love. The love of Christ is an all-encompassing love.
Jesus was able to love all people. He loves each of us even though we are sinful and not deserving of love. He loved his enemies. He loved the outcasts, the neglected, the unwanted, the unacceptable.
If we are to love others with the same love of Christ then we must learn to love all people regardless of our differences. We must learn to overlook the failings of others – we don’t need to tolerate and accept wrong behavior, we just can’t allow it to be that barrier that prevents us from caring for others. We must learn to accept those who are different than we are.
This means that we must open the doors of our places of worship to those who have no idea how to relate to God. We must be willing to befriend those who society has cast aside, or who have removed themselves from mainstream society because they don’t feel worthy.
And more than opening the doors of our churches, we must open our hearts to truly and genuinely care for the new believer and the lost.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How can you learn to love the unloved?