The other day as I was praying, I began to see the faces of a few people, brothers and sisters in Christ, that I don’t always get along with. No real trouble between us, just personality differences that cause us to rub one another the wrong way at times. Always nice and polite with one another. But not always feeling very patient and kind or believing the best of one another.
As I saw their faces, I could tell I was not loving them the way God loves them. Remember our commandment from Jesus.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34, NKJV)
Their faces did not stir in my heart an unfailing, overflowing love, which is how He loves me, so I knew I was falling short here. I began to repent. I asked the Lord to forgive me for not loving them the way I should. As I prayed something happened in my heart, and I realized I began to say something else. I began to say, “Father, forgive me for not loving You.”
It became so real to me in that moment, that when I don’t love others, it’s Him I’m not loving. We are the Body of Christ and when we don’t love one another, it is a part of Him that we do not love.
For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, because we are members (parts) of His body. (Ephesians 5:29-30, Amplified)
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is very great, but I speak concerning [the relation of] Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31-32, Amplified)
We are one with Him and through Him we are one with each other, a body, His body.
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. (1 Corinthians 12:12-14, KJV)
He also is the Head of [His] body, the church… (Colossians 1:18, Amplified)
Now this may be a difficult pill to swallow for some, but know this, that He would not ask us to do something that He did not give us the capability to do. In His words to us, in His instructions to the church, in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, is His grace (the power of the Holy Spirit) to do what we He has called us to do, which is to love one another as He has loved us.
Ask Him to teach you, to lead you, to guide you. Ask Him to change you. Yield to His Word and His grace that live in you. And as you go from glory to glory you will look more like Him and you will love more like Him.
But concerning brotherly love [for all other Christians], you have no need to have anyone write you, for you yourselves have been [personally] taught by God to love one another. (1 Thessalonians 4:9, Amplified)