I wrote about this subject a while back, but it is so important I thought we’d visit it again.
A little while back I listened to someone talking, and I was left bothered for days. I couldn’t figure out what it was, but I was really disturbed by the things the individual was saying. I could not shake how I felt. After a time of thinking and praying about it, I realized what it was that bothered me; Love. It was love and how we, believers, miss its mark without even recognizing it.
It is so easy to talk about love, but it is not so easy to actually walk in it when it comes to bestowing it upon other people. Yes, we all want love; however, we often withhold it from others. This is very true amongst church folks. After listening to this individual talk about another believer who annoyed them, my heart was heavy. As I thought about God’s instructions to us about bestowing mercy on others, loving others, esteeming others highly, and overlooking offences I realized that many church folks ignore the meat of these passages. We do not take them seriously; we do not obey them when it really counts. It is a perfect place for self-examination, so let’s take another look at what God has to say about it.
Believers are to show mercy towards others. James 2:13; 2 Sam 22:26; Matt 5:7;
- Mercy – That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant…
In light of this definition, we must ask ourselves if we truly show mercy to others. The Bible does not give us a pass for difficult people or those who annoy us with their ways/actions. James tells us that if we do not show mercy to others then we will be judged without mercy. Let me ask you something. Where would you (we) be without God’s mercy? What would judgment be like if God withheld His mercy from us the way we withhold it from others? What if God would not forgive our foibles, our flaws and weaknesses that displease Him? What if He were as hard on us as we are on others? Something to think about isn’t it?Give no mercy & receive no mercy.Where would you b without God’s mercy? Click To Tweet
Believers are to extend love to others. Love…that word that we toss around so carelessly. That word we use to describe how we feel about something as simple as a favorite color. Love, a serious word whose true definition often escapes us. To know if we are truly extending love to others we must use God’s definition as our measuring stick.
Take a look at this brief breakdown of what the Bible tells us love is. Now, when I look at this I recognize that, in some ways, I must come up to meet God’s standards. I know for a fact I’m not the only one. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have heard believers complaining about one another! This one is annoyed with that one. This one is always irritated with another one. I have actually heard professing believers say that they “don’t give the benefit of the doubt.” This one doesn’t like the way one said this, and that one doesn’t like the way this one handles that! There are even some professing believers who need to examine how they view and treat their parents. 1 Corinthians 13:4-6 lets us know this kind of behavior is not love.
The truth is that many of us aren’t bearing or enduring anything. We are not hoping or believing for improvement in our fellowman, especially of the household of faith. We are too impatient and too easily irritated with others. Some of us even believe ourselves to be better than others. We do not love people. Believers have no business being haughty, losing patience, being easily irritated, yammering about an individual’s faults and weaknesses to others etc…. If our thoughts, words, and actions are not lining up with Scripture then we are not showing love; if we aren’t showing love then what are we showing? Hmmm, something to think about isn’t it!?
Jesus commanded us to love (John 13:34-35; John15:12,17), but it is obviously something that doesn’t necessarily come easy to human beings. What we must remember is that God equips us to do what He has told us to do. The question is whether or not we want to obey Him. If we do, here are some steps we can take to become people who obey God in loving others.
Develop a habit of loving others God’s way through practice!
It is high time we, believers, get more serious about actually living our faith. That starts by reading the word and actually obeying what it says. When the Lord said for us to love one another, He meant it. We have to examine ourselves in light of what He says love is; we don’t get to define it. I challenge every believer, myself included, to practice loving the way the Bible says for us to. Love those difficult personalities in our lives; love those that our flesh tells us not to like. Actively love our fellow believers, our fellowman. Let us put our actions where our mouth is. Oh what a testimony we will have!
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1
Until next time!
I would love to hear from you!
What are your thoughts on the subject of love?