Love is Our Witness

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

Did you know that one of the best examples of the gospel is how you show love to the people in your life? While explicitly sharing the gospel is a clear and wonderful way to tell others about Jesus, Jesus himself tells His disciples in John 13: “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

This verse makes me think of a conversation I had with one of my dearest friends recently. We were catching up on life, and slowly our conversation turned to the subject of faith, specifically how several of our friends we grew up going to church with no longer would consider themselves Christians. I asked my friend why she was still following God, knowing that she herself has struggled in the past with periods of doubt.

Across the couch, my friend looked at me and said, “I think it’s because of the love and forgiveness. I’ve seen the way my friends and coworkers who don’t know God treat one another, and the message from the world is that if someone does something you don’t like, you are justified in hating them and walking away. But Christianity is the only religion I know of that is centered on love and forgiveness. We’ve been forgiven so much ourselves, and I’ve seen that love in my own life from the believers I know.”

My friend is right. While other religions often focus on being a good person, they also keep their followers hustling to earn their approval and goodness. Christianity flips that idea on its head.

Romans 5:8-9 says that while we were still sinners, Christ loved us enough to come and die for us. Probably the most famous passage of the Bible, John 3:16-17 says it this way: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

What other response do we have than to share the love we’ve so graciously been given? When we realize how deeply we are loved and how much we have been forgiven, it should compel us to show that love to everyone around us. And in the process, we point others back to Jesus, the truest source of love we can know.

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