Our Bible verse for today: “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Just love them”
I once heard a disgruntled Pastor say to another Pastor, “You know, the only thing wrong with churches is that they’re full of people!” Lol. Evidently he was having a tough day. Someone in his church was probably making things difficult for him and he was exasperated with them. Church life gets that way sometimes.
Some of the best advice I ever received came from my Pastor, Oren Teel. Oren was the man who baptized me as a new believer. He then discipled me, guided me into my first ministry assignments, and when I sensed a call to preach, he led the church to license me to preach. He said, “We can’t have you bootlegging the Gospel, Jim”. Oren also encouraged me to go to seminary and he then led our church to ordain me as I was being sent out to become the Pastor of my first church.
The advice he gave me went like this: “Just love your people, Jim. Congregations will forgive a lot if they just know that you love them. They will put up with bad sermons; they will laugh at your silly jokes; they will even ignore your ugly ties; just as long as they know you love them.” And he was right. Underlying any success I’ve had in ministry over these decades has been my efforts to simply communicate love to people.
That’s also true for life in general. If you are a person who radiates warmth and love for others, people will respond positively to you, and your relationships will be healthy. That will be true regardless of whether you are rich or poor, fat or skinny, good looking or not, and regardless of your skills, talents, abilities, or achievements. People will like you simply because you are so likeable. And you will be so likeable because people will know that you love them.
Also, people who love easily and freely are the happiest people you will meet. A warm and loving heart makes for a happy person. If you simply love and accept others, you yourself will feel happy and mostly content. This is part of the lesson Jesus was teaching. Strive to love others fully and unconditionally just as He loves you. Not only is it an effective method of evangelism and a great witness to the world about the love of God, but it makes for a happy life for those who have learned to love like that.
But sometimes love can be confusing. For instance, have you ever wondered why a wife can wear one of her husband’s shirts and its okay, but if he wears one of her dresses suddenly it’s time to talk?
I know, it’s confusing, and it doesn’t seem fair. Just love her anyway, leave the dress alone, and have a good day today.