Love One for Another
Dr. Jay Worth Allen
I love words. The shape and shade and size and noise of words as they hum, strum, jig and gallop along compelled me to become a writer. That’s what springs from me naturally.
Spiritual love, in contrast, must proceed from my spiritual nature and must be attracted by the sight of the divine image I see in other saints. “Every one who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him” (1 John 5:1). I love others because of the love given me from Another. That’s what my spiritual nature must be. But no one can love God in another unless he has God’s love in his own soul. Love begets love.
Many of us hold an entirely wrong idea as to the nature and fruits of love. Most of us misconstrue natural ability and temperament for love. A hardy handshake, a warm smile, a well chosen word works in the natural, but not in the Spirit. Many of us love particular Christians because we find them to be sweet-tempered or generous-hearted, but that is merely natural, and not spiritual love. If we would love the saints spiritually, we must disregard what they are temperamentally by nature, and observe them as the objects of God’s love, loving them for what we see of Him in them. Only then will we be able to rise above individual peculiarities and personal infirmities, and value them with a true spiritual affection.
Now don’t misinterpret what I’m saying. I do not mean that we should ignore our brothers’ offenses or condone their sins (Leviticus 19:17). On the other hand, what we most often regard as “snubs” or “scorn” from someone may be due to our own pride - not the abrasive-temperament brother, whose personality rubs us the wrong way. We may feel hurt because we do not receive the notice, we consider our due. At times it’s not good for the people of God to know too much of each other (Proverbs 25:17). Familiarly may breed contempt. You may love my writing (which I hope you do) but if you had the chance to know me, you may spot so many personality imperfections, that you’d run at the very sight of me.
Neither the reality, nor the depth, of Christian love should be measured by honeyed words or endearing expressions. Actions speak louder than words. Gushy people are proverbially superficial and fickle. Those common folk who are less demonstrative are usually more stable. Still waters run deep. Spiritual love always aims at the good of its object. It is exercised in edifying conversation, in seeking to strengthen and confirm faith, exalt God’s Word, and promote piety, holiness and godliness. The more another magnifies Christ, the more he should be endeared to us. I do not mean mere skin-deep, silver-tongued talk about Christ, but that overflowing of the heart towards Him which compels the beloved’s mouth to speak of Him. We should love the saints for the truth’s sake, for being unashamed to affirm their faith in such a day as this. Those who reflect most of the image of Christ and carry about with them most of His fragrance should be the ones we love the most.
Love for the brethren is ever in proportion to our love for the Lord Himself, which explains why the former is such a low ebb. The sectarian bigotry and the personal bitterness growing all around us is easy to explain. Love to God has decreased in vigor, power, and extent. “You shall love the Lord your God with all you heart, soul and strength” comes before “you shall your neighbor as yourself.” But the love of material things and the cares of this world have chilled the souls of many of us towards God. Our affections must be set steadfastly upon the Head of the Church before they will warm to its members. When the Lord is given His rightful place in our hearts, His redeemed, our brother and sisters in Christ, will also be given theirs. Then our love will not be confined to that narrow ecclesiastical circle in which our lot is cast; we will embrace the entire household of faith. Then we shall have “love for all the saints” (Ephesians 1:15), and that will be evidenced by “supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18) - those in the four corners of the earth whom we have not seen. “Salute every saint in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:21 KJV) - poor as well as rich, weak as well as strong.
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love one for another” (John 13:35).
Love One for Another
Published: 12 September 2010 on Freed In Christ! blogsite.
Published: 28 October 2010 in the Faith Column of The County Journal.
© 1998-2012 dr. jay & miss diana ministries, inc. all rights reserved
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© 2012 dr. jay & miss diana
all rights reserved