Scripture Reading: John 13:31-35
Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.” I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’ –John 13:33-35
If we are to model our lives after Jesus, we are going to have to rid ourselves of our need to judge others. Sure he castigated religious leaders for their failures in leading the people in the ways of God. Yet he had great compassion, amazing empathy, without condemnation for the people. I take great solace in the breadth of his forgiveness and love. We all need those.
I saw a sign recently that said don’t judge others because they sin differently than you do. The people who have made the most positive difference in my life are the ones who saw something in me that I did not perceive and helped me to develop it. Jesus did a lot of that. I have also been impacted by those who accept me as I am and love me anyway. That’s a Jesus thing too.
Loving others includes a willingness to engage with others even those we do not understand or particularly those we do not understand. Truth is we become more ourselves the more we grow in loving others in spite of perceived differences. I use to sing the old song, Love Lifted Me with the idea that it was God’s love lifting me and I am sure that is true, but If you think about it our loving others lifts us too.
Prayer: Lord enable us love one another. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.