“Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your life ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (I Thessalonians 4: 9-12 NIV).
Now, if we have been taught by God how to love–open to receiving His love and in hearing His voice and acting in obedience, we truly know how to love others–unconditionally. This should be true of every Believer–no matter what banner or domination they espouse, the color of their skin, or nationality. Baptists should love Methodists and Methodists should love Catholics and Catholics should Pentecostals and Pentecostals should love Baptists–a circle of love should truly light up the world of–unbelievers because of our love for one another.
But does it happen this way? Probably not–and the reason that it probably doesn’t is because human nature dictates what we do, rather than the Spirit of God in that everyone wants to be superior to everyone else. No one is, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to be.
Time is far spent and we are closer to His return than ever before–whenever that occurs. While we yet have a chance, we should spend the time wisely, loving one another, promoting the Gospel–not gossip and rumors–so that everyone who sees and watches us will be convinced that we have been taught to love by God–unconditionally.
Loving others unconditionally does not mean we condone sin of any nature. We love the sinner and hate the sin and try by living a sinless life to convince them to love as God loves and obey Him. This is where the naysayers get it wrong. They think because we “hate sin” (all sin), that we cannot love those who sin. If God can love us in spite of our sins, who are we to deny another love? God doesn’t approve of our sin and there are consequences when we choose to sin, but He never stops loving us.
Real love–for another person–always means that we want the very best for them. No one can receive God’s best for their lives if they refuse to obey Him and when we obey Him out of love, rather than fear, He sees and rewards our faith in Him that motivates us to love Him and others.
When we love–we know how to approach others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ–with love, not aggression and violence, and browbeating. That is not to say our message should be sugar-coated, but we can indeed win more souls to Christ with kindness than we can by condemning them.
People living in sin are already condemned by their consciences–they don’t need us piling on more weight to their already heavy burden. Look at the those who kill others and then kill themselves–their consciences troubled them enough to commit suicide. Some would say that suicide is a cowardly act–and in most cases I would agree, but even being a coward is a result of self-condemnation.
Until we learn to love ourselves–it is impossible to love others–the way God loves us. So, if we really want to learn to love, we must allow God to teach us to love–unconditionally, learn to love ourselves and then we can demonstrate the love we’ve been taught, by loving others in the same way.