The Standard of Love

1 John 3:16

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”

In my previous blogs, we began by looking at the standard of a Christian life and share a few examples of how God is the standard. We then went further and discussed God’s provision for us to live up to the standard. In the following blog, I shall explain a number of attributes and how we are to become like Christ. This will raise the standard for Christians and make us more dependent on God in this journey.

Love In Action

The subject of love is very central in our Christian journey. In 1 John 4:7-12 the scripture urges us to love one another for love comes from God. The expectation of those born of God and know God is to love others. Failure to love is an indication that we don’t know God. The scripture in verse 10 says that it is not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his only Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

The key idea I want to advance in this scripture is that whether other people love us or not we must love them. As human we set conditions of loving other people. It is common to hear Christians say, I cannot talk to that person because of what they either did to them or failed to do. It has also become a habit in many churches that you only help or support those that supported or helped you one time. As part of church regulations, many churches have kept lists of the people who support others financially. In case you don’t appear, no one will attend to your issues even though you are member of that church. Helping others so that you will be helped sounds like a blackmail to me. Is it possible to help because God says so? In life we are always on the move and soon we may find ourselves in places where we know nobody and need help. What happens when you can’t reap where you sowed coz you are not there anymore?

The gospel we preach demands we love unconditionally and bless even those who persecute us. It sounds unfair to help and support someone who does not join others in helping the needy. On that note, I have witnessed so much transformation in people who have been shown unconditional love. Jesus love had no boundaries, he ate with tax collectors, loved prostitutes and defended one who was almost being stoned to death, he came for the sick not for the healthy and through unconditional love he won them all to himself. Through loving each other as commanded by the scripture, we are able to show that we are Christ’s disciples and finally win many unbelievers to him and restore those who are likely to drift from righteousness. You are truly Christlike if just like Stephen, you can manage an intercessory prayer when people are stoning you to death.

Respond scripturally to the following reflection questions

  1. Who have you refused to express love to and why?

  2. Why do you help people?

  3. How different are you from sinners in the way you treat others?

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