“By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” John 13:35
This is a verse that speaks to me again and again and in recent days, I have pondered the exact nature of the love that Jesus is talking about, and my mind went to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. This is from the Passion Translation.
Love is large and incredibly patient. Love is gentle and consistently kind to all. It refuses to be jealous when blessing comes to someone else. Love does not brag about one’s achievements nor inflate its own importance. Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honour. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offence. Love joyfully celebrates honesty and finds no delight in what is wrong. Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others. Love never takes failure as defeat, for it never gives up. Love never stops loving.
What a love! There are so many facets of this love. You can take each one in turn and just think about it, the importance of it and the impact that it can have. It’s a love that doesn’t change depending on who we are with and even if this love isn’t accepted or reciprocated, it remains constant. If this is the love that we are called to show, it’s quite a challenge! How dependent we are upon the One who is Love Himself, to help us show this pure love to each other.