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.
Often people are put in our paths who we think we have no time to befriend. Like others, we tend to be drawn to the popular, good looking, exciting folks about us, rather than to those who like us, are more average and sometimes a bit below, who need to be befriended.
They walk into our churches and into our lives for various reasons and our job...our privilege… is to love them for Jesus.
So many churches we have visited over our travels are full of smiling faces but just not smiling our way. As Christian strangers, we are greeted and left to fend for ourselves. Rather than loving on a stranger like the long lost brother or sister in the Lord; we smile at them and quickly pass them by for more familiar faces.
Why is it so easy to love those we already love and so hard to love these who need to be loved? Perhaps it falls into the category of the church being not a hospital and that any problems should not be there or maybe it is the philosophy that I should only be cautiously friendly to strangers in the faith. The real question I should ask the Father is, “Who should I befriend today?”
Whether we are single, married, in a relationship, or not, today and every day we are called to love others, just as we are loved by God. In extending love to others at church, at work, or with family, we are being faithful to God’s plan to “Love one another.” Yes, this verse is referring to the church to love each other so start there (but not stop there) … love every Christian stranger, the less prominent, and the person in need that you can find in your church. (After this is accomplished, we will start on loving your enemies.)
We must remember His provision to carry out the tasks He calls us to, that is to Love one another. Who needs your love today? Who has the Father put into your life to love today? Are you expecting them today? Are you actively seeking the one who needs God’s love through you today?