Known By Love
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)
How can you spot a major league baseball player on the field at a stadium? By his uniform. How can you recognize a judge in a courtroom? By his or her robe. How can you identify a racecar driver? Well, he’s the guy in the jumpsuit and helmet, driving the car. These are just a few frail examples of the point I’d like to make. Everyone has distinguishing characteristics which set them apart from others. There’s no doubt about the identity of these examples, and I am sure you can think of dozens more that would help illustrate the fact that we are all known by something.
When Jesus was making sure He was covering all His bases in regard to training His disciples how to carry on without Him after He returned to heaven, He made sure He told them about the single characteristic that would cause them to stand out from the crowd: love. By the way, that birthmark which comes as a result of being born again has not been amended; we are still supposed to be known for our love today. Is it easy? No, but it is what God expects of us.
In a world where Christians are thrown under the bus and sin is paraded around like a circus act that everyone applauds for, we are supposed to give the truth of forgiveness and tell the world that God is still not okay with rebellion and sin. However, there’s a right and wrong way to do everything. The wrong way is to be condescendingly hateful and tell others how much better we are than them. The right way is to lovingly live out God’s Word and plead with them to come to the truth, not because we are better, but because we too were once where they are, yet we have been rescued by grace. Too many so-called Christians are giving the church a bad name because they hate everyone who doesn’t agree with them.
On the cross, Jesus proclaimed forgiveness, not only to those who were present at the scene putting Him to death, but to all who would come along and rebel against Him. The world needs to hear about hope and forgiveness, and there is a very loving way to do that without compromising or becoming weak. While we don’t condone the wickedness of the world, let’s keep in mind that if it were not for the grace of God, we’d still be lost in sin. Let’s humbly show others the love of our amazing, forgiving Savior.