"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35
I've been giving a lot of thought lately to how God wants me to live my life day by day. In particular, I've been pondering my interactions with others. In thinking through what I know God has said in the bible, I have come to the conclusion that He has made things rather simple for us. As Jesus said in the above passage, we are to love one another.
We must be careful to understand this as Jesus meant it. The context is without a doubt self-sacrificial love in action. Jesus has just finished washing His disciples feet. He will soon head to the Garden of Gethsemane. In a matter of hours, He will be hanging on a Roman cross.
Our Lord's expectation is that we will love others, both Christians and non-Christians (and even those who hate us because we are Christians), in manner that plays out in self-sacrifice. In effect, we should be willing to go to the cross to die for anyone else - especially for those who would hang us there.
In both seminary and the blog-world, we tend to spend a great deal of time discussing minute points of theology and church practice. There is certainly a place for this. However, sometimes we make things far more complex than God Himself has made them.
He has told us to love one another. We love those who love us; that is easy. We are also to love those who hate us; that's not so easy. Only through the strength and power of the Holy Spirit can we do this.
God has told us how we are to live. Let's do it.