“I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other just as I loved you. All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.” (John 13:34-35 ERV)
Jesus was very clear about His desire for His Body. He wanted love measured by His standards and still longs for such a demonstration among His Bride. Even so, many in the Body still struggle to learn to love in such a way. You see, when we carry a profound revelation of who we are in Christ and who He is to us, we tend to defend our revelation than support and celebrate each other’s understanding and knowledge of God.
This protective response is a result of experiences that left us scarred from our encounters with religion and legalism. Ultimately, it is a reaction of our flesh, and it quickly becomes not only defense but a criticism that divides and hurts Jesus preparation of His Bride.
Can we celebrate and love those who are passionate for Holiness and righteousness?
How about those who radically experienced repentance? Mercy… Love… Grace…. Each one encountered and experienced a reality of Christ that may be foreign to us. Our passion for our piece of the Knowledge of God can challenge others and vice versa, this is what the writer of Hebrews declared on behalf of God when he said:
Let us consider how to inspire each other to greater love and to righteous deeds, not forgetting to gather as a community, as some have forgotten, but encouraging each other, especially as the day of His return approaches. (Hebrews 10:24-25 TVB)
By no means, am I saying we should tolerate wrongful doctrines or sinful lifestyles? My encouragement is not about dealing with sin, but mutually celebrating the encounters we’ve experienced with God. I am elevating our revelation of Love within our Communities to an experiential reality very few of us have lived. If Jesus could love by dying for us while we were still sinners, why can’t we love when the revelation of our brothers and sisters pierces our hearts and challenges us to elevate our Christian walk?
But think about this: while we were wasting our lives in sin, God revealed His powerful love to us in a tangible display—the Anointed One died for us. (Romans 5:8 TVB)
This year, in particular, God began to do a deep work in my heart. Through brothers and sisters in the Lord that walk in such a profound revelation of community and love that it has completely redefined my definition of ministry as a leader. At first, I wanted to challenge it, even reject it, because my revelation of personal intimacy and relationship with the Lord felt like the right thing to focus on or do. After all, Prophets love their alone time! (just being honest) Not realizing that their knowledge of God was the much necessary ingredient to bring my Christian walk into a healthier reality of love.
Our initial response when we become combative because we feel people are not listening or valuing what we feel is a priority, is isolation, resulting in broken fellowship and criticism towards our brothers and sisters. We should examine if our experiences with God are indeed birthed by His Love or by our flesh, wounds and wrong heart attitudes.
The Apostle Paul said it this way:
“For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.” (Galatians 5:14–15, ESV)
The J.B. Phillips translation says:
“You should be free to serve each other in love. For after all, the whole Law toward others is summed up by this one command, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’. But if freedom means merely that you are free to attack and tear each other to pieces, be careful that it doesn’t mean that between you, you destroy your fellowship altogether!” (Galatians 5:14-15 J.B. Phillips)
God is elevating our reality of love in the context of celebration, honor, and community towards one another. You can love your brothers by celebrating their passion without feeling you are diminishing your convictions and passions.
Let’s not devour one another anymore. Let’s restore fellowship, learning to love as others love, living holy lives as others do, serving as others, drawing each other closer and inspiring one another to love and good works.