“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
“Love” is an interesting word. As we grow and change the meaning and depth of our understanding of the word changes. As children we associate it with things like a favorite toy, an activity, or our family. As teenagers we think we understand all there is to know about love when we experience our first crush. But our first heartbreak brings us new understanding and changes all we thought we knew. As parents love looks different still. It looks like sleepless nights, skinned knees, and sometimes… being “the worst parent in the world.”
“Love” is hard to wrap our heads around sometimes. I know I would often like it to have a nice simple definition that is easy to apply. But the “love” in today’s verse is less about the definition of the word, but rather the application of it. Jesus applied love in every situation. He was kind. He was merciful. He was patient. He showed us that love looked like truth, sacrifice, healing, forgiveness, and restoration…for everyone.
My life probably doesn’t look exactly like your life, so how that plays out and what love will require of us in the midst of our individual messiness and craziness is bound to look different as well. But you can bet that it should resemble something like grace…peace…mercy…and forgiveness. In short, the way we love should look a lot like Jesus. In all things we can set Jesus before us as our example and try to live and love a little more like Him each day.