Daniel 5-7 2 John
“And now, dear lady, this is not a new command but is the same command we have had from the beginning. I ask you that we all love each other. And love means living the way God commanded us to live. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is this: Live a life of love.” (2 John 5-6 NCV)
As you read John’s second letter to the “dear lady,” it becomes clear that the dear lady is the church and her children are those in the church. John had a reminder for them that’s still an important reminder today: love each other. This was a command from Jesus. Jesus noted that this was how Christians could be identified in a world of hatred when He said, “by this shall all people know that you are my brothers – if you love one another.” Our responsibility, as followers of Christ, continues to be to love God and love our neighbors.
Sadly, we have a lot of undercover Christians. They, or should I say “we,” hide cleverly in our society by joining in the hatred that fuels discussion in society. We act as if politics will solve the problems of this world and align ourselves with one party or the other, which allows us to hate the people, even believers, in the opposite party with impunity, since we know that they’re wrong. We get involved in secular disputes over political issues and where to spend money and so many other things that we forget that we’re called to love each other. What if, instead of staring daggers at each other over politics, secular issues, and even church membership, we practiced loving each other – no matter what? What if the world saw us not as self-righteous, judgmental hypocrites looking for a reason to speak ill about others, but as loving followers of Jesus Christ? The old saying is that love makes the world go ‘round. Sadly, our world today spins on hate. What if we loved each other so much that we influenced people to seek God because they saw the joy and the love in our lives towards each other. What if we could go back to those early days when, as a Roman official wrote in pre-Twitter days: “Those Christians! They love each other before they even know each other.
Lord, too often I respond to others out of hatred, or worse, don’t respond out of indifference. Teach me to live in Your love and to show that love to others. Let my life reflect Your love and grace for all people knowing that I don’t always know their spiritual condition.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.