Our Command to Love One Another
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34–35 (niv)
When I was nine, my family moved. That same year, I grew four inches and got glasses. I was the geeky new kid at school whose pants were always too short and always had her nose in a book. My best friend was the school librarian.
It was a lonely time, an awkward phase that lasted until I went to high school. I got contact lenses, found pants that fit and realized that all that reading had made me smart, which provided a peer group of other geeks. I also found friends in the Campus Life group at my school.
Since then, I’ve grown more adept socially, though I’m still introverted. But I’ve learned that part of what it means to follow Jesus is to love others. It’s not optional. Jesus says, “you must love one another.” Sometimes people hurt or disappoint us. Friendship is wonderful, but sometimes challenging. But Jesus says, love anyway. And then, sends people to us.
In The Four Loves, C. S. Lewis wrote, “For a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of the Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples ‘Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,’ can truly say to every group of Christian friends ‘You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.’ ”
Over the years, Jesus has led me to friends He’s chosen for me, though I might not have chosen them for myself. These friendships bring both joy and pain. But they have formed me spiritually. They have provided a place for me to obey Jesus’ command to love Him by loving others.
FAITH STEP: If you feel lonely, consider that others may also need a friend. Take a step to build a new friendship or deepen an existing one.
Written by Keri Wyatt Kent
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