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Christians identified by one thing: love

On the final night of his earthly life, Jesus told his followers: “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just 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 among yourselves.” (John 13:34, 35)

Ephesians 5:1, 2 tells us: “Become imitators of God, as beloved children, and go on walking in love.” When we imitate God’s example of showing love, we experience the greater happiness that comes from giving

What did Paul mean when he said that “love never fails”? (1  Corinthians 13:8) –  God is love and it is He who teaches us to love – He never fails –  The war among us has to come to an end. We have to move past divisions and hatred. If you take Christ’s command to love others seriously, that love will become a powerful force for good – both in your church, and in the watching world.

One prominent writer I know said, Jesus did something the world had never seen before—He created a group identified by one thing: love. There are many groups in the world, and they identify themselves in any number of ways: by skin color, by uniform, by shared interest, political affiliations, tribes —the ways people categorize themselves are endless.

But the church is unique. For the first and only time in history, Jesus created a group whose identifying factor is love. Skin color doesn’t matter. Native language doesn’t matter. There are no rules about diet or uniforms or wearing funny hats. Followers of Christ are identified by their love for each other.

Keep God’s desire for the church to be a loving community in mind. Be willing to embrace people as they really are, rather than as you wish they would be. Then, Forbear them as you share with them what is right.

Ask God to give you the humility, patience, grace, and humor you need to accept people without judging them, and to encourage them to be themselves around you. Entrust the situation to God. Even if the people who’ve wronged you or your church don’t apologize and repent, choose to forgive them anyway, knowing that by doing so you’ll be giving God the gift of your obedience and freeing yourself from the poison of bitterness.

I have observed a lot of bitterness on social media over issues ranging from doctrine, accountability and association e.t.c . Pray for discernment about who you should help, and how. Combine a sympathetic attitude with good judgment. When you admonish someone, do so privately, positively (aiming to solve the problem), and prayerfully (as God leads you).

Do all you can to inspire and challenge others to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead each day and take creative action in the specific directions the Spirit leads them.

Be willing to confront, challenge, and correct Christians who are living in disobedience to God’s commands. I know how we go about taking about them and never talking to them in person. Reach out to everyone with the sole goal of helping them restore their intimacy with God. Let love motivate you to want the best for them and be concerned about their welfare.

By Samuel Balaggadde. Courtesy Photo.

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