I love the idea of moving forward in my journey of faith with a balanced spiritual growth. Unity is one of those crucial success milestones that is expressed when I have love for others.
For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered[j] his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.
This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need but closes his eyes to his need—how can God’s love reside in him?
Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action. – 1 John 3:11-18 HCSB
If loving others were only as easy as giving a hug then I would excel in love. Love is a bit more difficult than that, there is continual effort and hard work because it is about putting the other person ahead of myself – that is where the battle lies. My default is not to love. This is why John is exhorting me to love the family of God.
John must have gone through this transformation – from one of the Sons of Thunder to the Apostle of Love. Love characterized his life and love was his prevailing message.
In fact, the church father, Jerome, said that when the apostle John was in his extreme old age, he was so weak that he had to be carried into church meetings. At the end of the meeting he would be helped to his feet to give a word of exhortation to the church. Invariably, he would repeat, “Little children, let us love one another.” The disciples began to grow weary of the same words every time, and they finally asked him why he always said the same thing over and over. He replied, “Because it is the Lord’s commandment, and if this only is done, it is enough.”
John did not originate the idea of loving others – love originated with God and it was uttered through the lips of Jesus.
Father, this gets really messy in real life. It requires an incredible amount of spiritual maturity. It requires me to have the wisdom of God, the mind of Christ, in all matters. I want that, I want to be the man you need me to be and I ask the Holy Spirit to do the work I need done. I choose to grow in my walk with You. Thank you.