Saturday, September 26, 2009

Niceness or Love?

Ephesians 4:31-32 “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

You know, it amazes me how as Christians we can be so nice to absolute strangers. We strive to let our light shine to all men—we work to be identified as believers by our “niceness” quotient. By golly we really know how to be pleasant and kind to shop clerks, business contacts, people we pass on the sidewalk—you name it; we’ve got the lock on kindness to strangers and being that bright “light”…Yep—we could be made of spun sugar!

But what about our own family?

Here I am talking about our spiritual family—the body of Christ.
We are so sure of the need to tell our brothers and sisters how things are and should be, no mater how harsh—after all, don’t they have to love us unconditionally? I can be rude to my family…because they are already saved; does it matter what I say to my family in Christ? I mean, God is in control anyway—He’ll fix it, won’t He?

But what does Jesus say? In John 13:34-35 Jesus says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Sounds more like we have to love our own “family” first and then all men (the rest of the world) will know we are His disciples!

Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all thing, endures all things. Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

1 comment:

Christina Langella said...

This is a wonderful post. One of the things that strikes me about many of Paul's letters to the different churches is how he goes out his way to commend them for their love for one another. For example, he told the church in Colosse that he thanked God for them - not just because of their faith but because "of the love you have for all the saints." (Col 1:4). He told the church in Ephesus the same thing (Eph 1:15). Christianity is relational. Indeed, as Paul stated, as Christians we are to do good to all but, "especially to those who belong to the family of believers." (Galatians 6:10).