“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34–35
“Love your enemies.” Matthew 5:43
Someone online recently told me that Christians aren’t to love others blindly, aren’t to focus on love while ignoring sin. I was flabbergasted.
When Jesus said “Love one another” it wasn’t a suggestion. He said it was a “command.” He didn’t say to only love those who believe the same as we do. He didn’t say to love only those who don’t sin (as if anyone is perfect). He said to love one another and to love your enemies. By my count, that includes everyone.
It feels like more and more, some Christians shrink away from love. It’s as if they feel like the concept has become “worldly” somehow. It’s as if they’ve forgotten that God is love. It’s as if they’ve forgotten that “they’ll know we are Christians by our love.*”
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13:4–5
Love is not preaching at people — that’s not patient. Love is not telling others how sinful they are — that’s boasting (because you think you’re better). Love is not telling people who they are is a sin — that’s dishonouring others. Love is humble and gentle.
We are commanded to love; it’s not a suggestion. And much of what we’re doing is not love.