"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
Christ-followers should love one another. Sounds easy enough, right? But what does a loving relationship look like?
Don’t imagine amorous or romantic “love” when answering these questions. Don’t think of how you “love” grandma’s pie or when your favorite team wins. We are talking about biblical agape love—the otherish love—the type of love that elevates the needs of another person above our own. It is the opposite of self-ish. Many times it is self-less.
When is the last time you felt loved in an agape, otherish way? When someone served you—your family had a sickness or tragedy & others brought you meals, sent you notes, prayed with you, & even cleaned your house. When someone gave you their time—you needed help watching the kids or another set of hands to finish a project. When someone gave & would take nothing in return—you wanted to pay them because you were overwhelmed by their generosity of time or service. When someone sacrificed joyfully for you—you smiled or maybe even cried because you saw the joy in their eyes at being able to love you in an agape, otherish way.
As Christ-followers we can not make one another love in this agape, otherish way. We can’t force it. We can’t program it. We can’t require it.
Yet as Christ-followers we can expect it. We can pray for it. We can look for ways to employ ourselves for others. We can live it.
Do not withhold. Love. Do not complain. Love. Do not give up. Love. Do not judge. Love. Do not walk away. Love.
Love one another, Jesus said. Agape one another. Otherish one another. Put one another first. Humble ourselves. Elevate others. Sacrifice ourselves. Serve others.
By this agape, otherish love may we be known & make Christ known to the world.