Last night we had an amazing night in Bible study at our church, Liberty AG is Girard, OH. One of the comments that was made as we were talking about the book of James, in particular not showing partiality, was that if the church would learn to love each other the way it was supposed to, then we would be living out what James is teaching us about not showing partiality and everyone would be viewed as equally valuable in God’s eyes. I found this statement to be very thought provoking and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
I wanted to take a moment and jot down some thoughts about what it means to love someone the way the church ought to love:
1. We must show value and worth to EVERY person.
Regardless of age, color of skin, church background or no church background, homeless or wealthy, single or married, and the list could go on, the church, and most importantly, the individual believer, must treat every person as though they are valuable and worthy of love because in God’s eyes, they are!
Jesus gave His life for each and every one of us, not just the people we think are special, but for all of us because we are especially unique and created in His image.
2. Love isn’t just on Sunday.
Too many times, and I put myself in this category, we focus only on what happens on Sunday mornings and we forget that people’s lives continue 7 days a week. If we are to show love the way Christ teaches us to, then we are to find ways to love each other on Sunday morning at church, and Monday-Saturday as well.
I understand how easy it can be to forget about hurting people during the week, it’s something I myself must make a conscious effort not to allow in my life. I can be so task driven that I forget to continually love on people and make it a lifestyle rather than a check list of things I have to do.
3. Sometimes love is tough.
Loving people doesn’t always mean hugging them and telling how great they are. Sometimes love must spoken in terms that might be seen as tough. But truth always loves enough to challenge the status quo of where, and who, we are. In the church especially, I think we have been afraid of this kind of love, but it’s this kind of love that really causes us to grow.
4. Sometimes love looks “in” first.
Sometimes we need to remember that the first place to look when we feel like there needs to be a change is inside. It’s very easy for us to point fingers and reveal the problem, or lack of love. But it is a whole other thing to look inside and ask, “Am I contributing to the problem, or am I part of the solution?” Sometimes love must start by looking IN.
I always want to be known as a person who loves people, and I want to be part of a church that is known for how it loves people. Maybe we can, through the gift and power of the Holy Spirit, start to love the way God intended? I believe we can.