Our May 2020 theme , Love one another, is the foundation of becoming spiritual. We must love one another in order to love the God of Israel. When we love the God of Israel we will keep his commandments (1 John 5:2) and he has commanded us to love one another (St. John 15:12).
In loving one another we must develop relationships with each other. In developing our relationships with others we want them to be healthy. If we examine our relationships, all healthy relationships have three necessary components . desire , passion and commitment. I call this the love triangle. If any component is missing, there is a good chance we are partaking in an unhealthy relationship. How we love one another will have a lot to do with what we perceive love to be and how we have been treated in our relationships. This is why it is so important to have healthy , loving relationships early in life. What type of relationships we have experienced will significantly determine how we give , accept , define and experience love later in life.
Love is so personal that it would be wrong of me to try and state exclusively what love is. Love can mean so many different things to different individuals. I will express my view on our theme , love one another. First , and I believe most importantly, we must accept each other as they are. If we cannot love people unless they conform to our standards of acceptance that is not love, it is control. If someone acts in ways that produces a negative impact on you or those you love you have every right to limit your interaction with them but it should not affect your love for them. Love allows each individual to be their unique self. We do not have to tolerate ungodly behavior to prove we love someone. We must ensure we do not hold grudges and dislike someone because of the choices they have made in life. We have every right to protect our peace and happiness from those who act ungodly. We are still required to love them.
Secondly, if we truly love one another we are concerned about their welfare. We should see about one another and advise , console and comfort one another during their difficult times in life. We should also celebrate their accomplishments with them. We must love each other enough to tell them the truth. If we know someone is engaging consistently in destructive behavior, we should tell them. We may risk them becoming upset with us or totally disregarding or staying in denial about what we said to them however our love for one another requires us to tell them. Caring and loving one another is more than lip service, we must love in deed and in truth (1 John 3:18).
Lastly , when we love each other , we look beyond each others faults and see their need. When we love one another we cover their sins, not expose them to others (Proverbs 10:12). When we love one another we seek to restore a fallen brother or sister in the love of the God of Israel. We must always stand ready to forgive our brother or sister. Please understand here I am not speaking about criminal activity , which should be reported. If we only see each other through the lens of each other’s shortcomings we will never see each other as the God of Israel sees us , as sons and daughters of the living God. 1 Corinthians 13 chapter describes love as being patient , kind , not easily provoked and rejoices not in iniquity but in the truth. This is the type of character we must exhibit towards each other if we love one another. Loving one another should bring great joy to us and if we love as we should we will help each other become what the God of Israel desires us to be.
Peace and Love