If I asked you if you love the congregation where you worship, a huge portion of you would say, “Oh, yes!!!” (And if you don’t, you should probably find a new church home.) Then let me ask you this, “Do you love everyone in the congregation?” Again, you’d probably say, “Yes!” If I got out of the church directory and started going through it one by one, could you honestly tell me that you truly love each individual? Once again, I believe that we would all answer with “yes.” But as we look at each face in the directory, do they each know that we love them? And I mean REALLY know that we do.

I believe it’s easy for us to say that we love them, but do we show that love? I’ve even been told, “Oh, I love her; I just don’t like her.” Or, “I love her, but I don’t want to spend any time with her.”

We live in a world that tells us that it’s okay for us to “not like” everyone. But that’s the world talking; that’s not what Jesus taught. In John 13:34-35 are the words of Jesus, and He says,

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another”

As people who are followers of Jesus, we want to look at His teachings and His example and strive to be like Him. Jesus tells His followers to love each other “even as I have loved you.” What does that look like?

  • Jesus chose Matthew, a tax collector, to be one of His twelve apostles. He looked past how others saw Matthew and included him in the circle of twelve. He ate dinner in Matthew’s home despite how the other “religious” people saw him. (Luke 4:27-32)

Jesus loved Matthew when others did not.

Our love for each other includes EVERYONE, not just those in our “circle” or peer group!

  • Jesus washed the feet of Judas while knowing that Judas would later betray Him. Judas was a brother caught up in sin, and Jesus knew it but loved him anyway. (John 13:5-15)

Our love for each other shows compassion, and does the right thing no matter how we are treated!

  • Jesus came to serve others. (Matthew 26-28)

Our love for each other serves and doesn’t sit back waiting to be served!

  • Jesus laid down His very life for us. (1 John 3:16)

Our love for each other is reflected in our sacrifices of time, money, attention, or whatever else it takes to show love to others!

  • Jesus prayed for His followers. (John 17)

Our love for each other will have us lifting up others in prayer!

I was part of a “Secret Sister” program one year, and a friend of mine drew the name of a very difficult woman. My friend went to the organizer and asked if she could draw a different name. She felt she wouldn’t be “the sister” that this woman needed because of the interactions she had with her. Here came the words of wisdom! The organizer told her that she understood but would my friend keep her name and pray for her every day. The organizer also suggested that she pray that God would soften her own heart towards this sister and help her see her through different eyes. Well, it worked! It changed how my friend saw this difficult woman. She truly learned to show that women love.

I could go on and on with the examples of the love of Jesus. But going back to John 13, verse 35,

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”

This is the importance of our love, our GENUINE love for one another…….the world is watching us! The lost are searching for GENUINE love! They have no idea what it looks like. They can’t; they don’t know Jesus.

Paul warns the Galatians in Galatians 5 about divisive behavior. In verses 13 -15, he tells them,

“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh (or for self), but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

But if you bite and devour one another, take care lest you be consumed by one another.” If we are devouring one another, why would anyone want to be a part of that? How can we possibly share Jesus if we aren’t living Jesus?

Right now, at this very moment, we must realize that if we GENUINELY love each other, we will be peacemakers and not dividers because we are striving to be like Jesus. We will love those and include those who may be different than us because that’s what Jesus did! We will love and serve those who may be struggling in sin, no matter the sin, and we will do it with compassion because that’s what Jesus did! We will show love by doing the right thing, no matter how we are treated, because that’s what Jesus did! We will show our love by serving, and not just those who serve us, because that’s what Jesus did! We will show our love by making whatever sacrifices need to be made to meet the needs of others because Jesus gave His very life for us! We will show our love for others by praying for them and with them because that’s what Jesus did!

Make a list of very specific ways you can show your love to the people whom you worship. Go through the directory and find a way to touch the life of one person each week. It starts today! Pray about it for yourself. Pray that God will soften your heart towards those that you may struggle with. Pray that He shows you opportunities to touch the lives of those who may need you right now. Then get ready because our God answers prayers!

Our love for one another is how we shine our light!! The more we love, the brighter the light!! Get out there and shine the light!!

Tami Roberts
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Tami Roberts is striving to be a shining light for the Lord.  She and her husband, Wayne, travel around the country sharing their family seminars, including the marriage seminar, "His Shoes, Her Shoes." Tami also uses her "extra" time to speak at women's gatherings. She is the author of   “But I Just Want to Be Happy: A Study From 1 Peter” and has written for several websites. She and Wayne have raised five children and are enjoying ten grandchildren plus some bonus kids. They are currently working with Memorial Church of Christ in Houston, Texas.


I love to sing!! (Even with my old lady voice. 😉) I love people!! I love to hear their stories. I love children! I'm most comfortable with them. (Probably because I'm just an older "kid.") I love seeing people's lives "light up" when we share hope with them!