*Love One Another *
By James Cook
Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love. Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace. We are all one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future. Ephesians 4:2-4 NLT
Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. 1 John 2:9,10 NIV
So many times we can focus on someone who can be very difficult to like, and in reality we allow that person to control the way we can think or feel. In addition, someone may make a reference about our attitudes toward others, and we can get our backs up against the wall, only to blame them for how we feel. As Christians, we can become critical toward those who may oppose our characteristics, and before we know it we can become bitter, and resentful. In this, we can start to plan revenge toward them. In conclusion, we now battle our very own beliefs as a Christian if we confess that what it says in Colossians about our duty as a believer. In Colossians 3:8 (NIV)8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Regardless or how we react, we are accountable for our reactions.
This past Christmas, I received an email that was very abusive where rage and anger was beyond any form of imagination. Upon conversing with a couple close friends, I took their counsel and refused to respond to such a message. This was difficult for me to do, as I will challenge someone if I feel it is called for, but in this situation I had no reason to entertain such an immature way by his attacking me for no apparent reason. Within two weeks after this, I sent a Christmas Greeting message to this fellow, plus other people I have ties to. Once again, a more violent and hatred letter came my way, and I refused to respond to prevent feeding into the anger and rage of the correspondent.
One of the greatest gifts our Father has blessed us with is by allowing us to make wise decisions that impact others besides us in a constructive way. In a perfect relationship with our Father, we would welcome Him in all our decisions, but there are times we must seek counsel from Godly people to help us respond in a Godly way because we are unable to respond, within ourselves, in a Godly way to have the greatest outcome. In (Prov 15:22)NIV it states that "Plans fail for the lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed".
Therefore, we must seek Godly counsel, whether on our knees, or with those who are filled with Godly Wisdom. We really need to submit to His leading and when we fail to do this, we risk setting ourselves up for failure. As we allow Him to guide us, we will react in a healthy and loving manner instead of causing further pain for ourselves or others involved. Upon receiving his emails, I had the choice to react to them or not, I chose not to react because of wise counsel, and because the Bible says not to entertain such actions. By choosing not to respond to him, I didn't feed into the sin that was controlling the bitter attacks. Therefore, I am able to stand before God in complete innocence of any wrong doings. Regretfully, too many times we choose to handle such situations in a defensive mode, then we can go on the attack only to provoke further anger.
Sadly, we try to place the blame on others for our actions, instead of accepting the responsiblity for what we have promoted, as it is easier to look to other's faults instead of our own. Our very own negative attitude has such a destructive impact on us. However, we can change things if we take to heart what is stated in Ephesians 4:2-4 (NLT) where it says we should be making allowances for others faults, and furthermore be patient and kind to those who have faults regardless of what kind it is. In so doing this, we give grace to them and then grace may be given to my imperfections when they rise to the occasion.
Our attention should be focused on God's Will instead of our own, and in this way our love through His grace for us, will penetrate through the painful attitudes we can adopt toward others. Through Him, and only Him, do we have the power to walk through any threat or malice that can be harmful to us in the love, kindness, and compassion that is so important in showing others the same love that Christ forgave us with.
It is only through the Cross that we are forgiven. John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son", now if this isn't love I really don't know what is, but this is the greatest form of love that we will ever experience. When God does this for us, then by living in Him, we are without excuse not to love another. You may say that you can't be around everyone, the truth is none of us can be and be in complete happiness, but what we can do is be around those that God has blessed us with to further our impact of love for the Kingdom of God.
The greatest gift we can have is love for those who God has placed before us whether it be a stranger, brother or sister, and etc. Being focused on those who are brought our way can have a positive impact on the family. How?, you may ask, God knows who we can work with in promoting the love for the gospel and love for others that come our way. Then there are those who someone else will get blessed with to love and help grow in their relationship with Jesus. I have come to learn and witness that love is the greatest ingredient to promote a chain reaction for our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and when we commit to His purpose there is a place in the body of Christ for each and everyone we come into contact with. But it starts by taking steps of love with another and showing them that God is Love by our actions, and that there is an over abundance of love from God above for them. When we question who is there for me to walk with, all we have to do is look around the body of Christ, as it is full of hurting people that need a vessel of God to reach out to them.
In this, we will be able to put love in action, and to see others as an important Child of God when we are committed to blessing others as we have been blessed. In sharing love with another, we can display to them how they can possibly prevent themselves from stumbling on their journey, however, there will always be those bumps in the road that we need to mature in our growth. The scripture is so plain and reassures us that we will come into some crisises; therefore, being a child of God we will not live in a problem free relationship, nor will we live in a problem free world. But it does promise that Love is the greatest commandment, and this is what we must try to fulfill in a love lost society.