Sep. 22, 2015
From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
Loving one another is a key and important theme of Christianity. Loving others is something that followers of Jesus must do (Matt. 5:43-47; Jo. 15:12, 17). May we never forget the fundamental reasons why the Lord encourages us to love one another! By loving one another, it reflects that we are followers or disciples of Jesus and we have completely surrendered our will to Him (Jo. 13:34-35). It also shows others that we belong to God – we are His children (I Jo. 4:7). Loving others fulfills the second greatest commandment; we are to “love our neighbor” (others) more than we love ourselves (Matt. 22:39; Rom. 13:9; Gal. 5:14; Jas. 2:8). Loving one another is not simply a belief; it’s a way of life. Just as it’s impossible for God not to love others; for us loving one another is a lifestyle. It should be difficult for us not to love one another. God is love and those who belong to Him must love. Jesus loves us and demonstrated His love for us by suffering and dying on the cross. This knowledge of Jesus has drawn us and others to Him (Jo. 12:32). By us loving one another, this becomes a powerful tool for drawing others to Christ. But there’s another great reason for loving one anther—it will change us.
The story is told by a newspaper columnist and minister named George Crane of a wife who came into his office full of hatred toward her husband. "I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me." Dr. Crane suggested an ingenious plan "Go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him, to enjoy him. Make him believe you love him. After you've convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him then drop the bomb. Tell him that you're getting a divorce. That will really hurt him." With revenge in her eyes, she smiled and exclaimed, "Beautiful, beautiful, will he ever be surprised." And she did it with enthusiasm. For two months she showed love, kindness, listening, giving, reinforcing, etc. in the marriage. When she didn't return, Dr. Crane called her and asked, "Are you ready now to go through with the divorce?" "Divorce?" she exclaimed, "Never! I discovered I really do love him."
Let’s learn to love one other. By loving one another, we fulfill the desires of God and Jesus, and it will not only change others, but it will change us.