"And above all things have fervent love for one another, for 'love will cover a multitude of sins." (1 Peter 4:8)
To love one another might be easy to say and I'm sure we've all heard it at least a few times. In recent weeks during one of the staff devotionals at Calvary Chapel Christian School we did a short study of the phrase "one another" in the New Testament. It appears in many variations, like "encourage one another", "greet one another with a holy kiss", "be submissive to one another" etc. However it was a different phrase that rang in my head for days to come, a phrase repeated more than the previous ones. It was "love one another". Apostles and Jesus Himself said it MANY times, so it must be important, right? I couldn't help it but repeat the study on my own at home and allow God to change my heart.
God showed me I was far from loving many of my brethren. I realized that towards some I wasn't hateful although I was hurt by them, I was patient although it was very difficult, I was nice although they were not nice to me. So at first it seemed I was doing pretty good, but is that what love means? Is it simply about keeping peace, being patient and not hating? Not hating doesn’t equal love. It could mean being neutral at best, but certainly not love. Love is an act, it is a choice. But how do I love my brethren, how do I show love to someone I don’t really know?
I thought about my wife. I know how to show her that I love her by more than just words. I know her well and so I know what her love languages are. One of them is acts of service, so I know helping her with the baby, house chores, etc. will bless her. God challenged me! I must invest in the lives of my brethren. I need to take time to get to know them, to serve them in a way that will bless them. I have to go beyond the “how are you?” and listen more carefully, offer help, spend more time in fellowship. As brothers and sisters we share a bond that goes beyond any; a bond of Jesus Christ. Let's be proactive and invest more into our relationships.