I must admit that it certainly is hard to be a Christian in today’s culture. Yes, we have the promise of eternity with God Almighty, but it doesn’t always make walking through today’s challenges easy. Just a couple of scrolls on your social media of choice and you find just how divided and dark our world is. I find my spirit getting bogged down and discouraged.
My heart breaks.
It breaks because, not only is our world so divided, but my mind shifts to our children, Mattie and Emma. What kind of world are they going to grow up in? How soon until they are confronted with sinful people with evil intentions? How will this take a toll on their spirits and faith? Will they be able to handle it?
I can feel tears well up in my eyes when I am reminded of the hope that we have as believers. As a tear breaks loose from my eye, I grin as I am reminded just how small our world is in the grand scheme of eternity.
One of the things that is increasingly difficult for people today is loving one another. In such a dark and darkening world, the Bible is clear that we are to love one another.
Simple as that.
Believe it or not, I used to question my dad when it came to school stuff. He would help me with homework and I would still disagree with his answer. For those of you who don’t know, my dad holds a PhD from THE Ohio State University. Why would I ever disagree with someone like that? I can still see the look he would give me when I would question his work. His look seemed to say, “I don’t know what to tell you…this is how it is done.”
The same is true with our reading today. When Jesus told His disciples to love one another, He meant just that. There is no room for “but what about…”. I would guess Jesus would give a similar expression to His disciples as the one dad gave me, “I don’t now what else to tell you…love one another means love one another.”
It is hard to do but, as followers of Christ, we are called to love one another. This means the people who are hard to love. This means the people who disagree with you. This means people who talk ill of you.
“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
How do you stand out from the crowd?
Love one another.
How do you show people Jesus inside of you?
By loving one another.
Taking it a step further, 1 Peter 3 tells us to pursue peace.
Do you pursue peace? Are you going out of your way to pursue peace with those around you?
What steps are you going to take to love the hard to love? Who do you need to make amends with? How can you go out of your way to take peace to those around you?
As dark as this world is, our command is simple…love one another and pursue peace with those around us. This is how we shine out in a changing culture.
Simple as that.