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Love Each Other
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“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34).

“Love each other!” I scream to my friends who are jokingly arguing about whose dorm room is cleaner, throwing playful insults back and forth. They roll their eyes at me and smile, they’ve heard that before. Not many days go by without me saying my “catchphrase,” I say it loud, I say it often, I never forget to remind my friends to “love each other.” The conversation moves on after a while, and we approach a topic I don’t particularly like, about a person I don’t particularly like. I mutter a backhanded comment to myself, which everyone in the room seems to hear. “Love each other,” one of my friends says quietly, purposely, and I am completely taken aback.

When he commanded us to love one another, Jesus might as well have given us a hammer and asked us to knock down the Great Wall of China. “Here, have a go at it,” very nonchalantly, like if it were the easiest thing in the world. It’s not, not even close. Loving our loved ones is easy, obviously, but what about the people that frustrate us? The people for whom we simply can’t find even one reason to love. The people who have hurt us in the past, and maybe continue hurting us in the present. Loving them, even attempting it, might as well be impossible.

Love with No Reason

Just like a hammer can’t possibly knock down one of the strongest structures ever built, we sinful humans can’t love in the perfect way that Christ has loved us. Christ has no reason to love us, except that He just does. We hurt Him nearly every day, when we sin, when we forget to pray, and He continues to love us unconditionally. We can hold a grudge when a friend doesn’t thank us for doing them a small favor; Jesus died for us and will love us even when we don’t talk to Him.

But Jesus, in His never-ending mercy, isn’t simply giving us a hammer, He’s saying “Look at me, I’ll teach you.” What better example of love than Love Himself? But it gets better, by looking at Him, really looking at Him, we become like Him (2 Corinthians 3:18). With Jesus in our hearts, loving each other becomes possible. With His strength in us, the Great Wall of China comes crashing down. God’s love is stronger than anything we could ever build, including our grudges.

With a little patience, and a lot of prayer, we can all “love each other.” 

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By Raquel Levy. Copyright © 2009 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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