By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
In his book What's So Amazing About Grace? Philip Yancey tells the story of a prostitute who rented out her two year-old daughter for sex and used the money to support her drug habit. When asked if she had thought about going to church for help, a look of "pure, naive shock…crossed her face. ‘Church!' she cried. ‘Why would I ever go there? I was already feeling terrible about myself. They'd just make me feel worse.' "
This woman speaks for many people who believe that Christianity is more concerned with criticism than with love. In truth, Christians are called to lead the way in love. When we are unkind, impatient, unforgiving, rude, proud, greedy, and dishonest, we lose more than an opportunity to know the joy of loving others. We lose an opportunity to express God's love. In fact, our behavior becomes a hurdle between others and God.
Many ill-treated people have said, "If that is what it means to be a Christian, then I don't want to be one." At the same time, others have said: "That person showed me love when I didn't deserve it. I want to find out why." What great opportunities we have to surprise others with a spirit of servanthood! Only when we love with the love of God can we bring hope to an otherwise hopeless world.
Lord, thank you for the opportunity to show love to others. Help me to be a channel of your love so that others want to know you.
Dr. Gary Chapman is the beloved best-selling author of The Five Love Languages and Love as a Way of Life. For more information, click here.