All you need is love. Love is all you need. – a song by The Beatles (written just before they broke up)
Let's play a quick word-association game. You will see a name, and I want you to say out loud the first word that pops into your mind. Okay?
- MICHAEL JORDAN?
- BILL GATES?
- CHARLES SCHWAB?
- THE SALVATION ARMY?
You probably answered basketball, money, investments, and people in Santa suits ringing bells – and hopefully, in that order!
Now, what if I say "CHRISTIAN?"
Hmmm. That's a tougher one, isn't it? Do you think of a church building? Sunday school? Potlucks? The Bible? Unfortunately, those outside the church usually make negative associations with those inside.
The Barna Group has compiled some unnerving research that shows Christians are often known for what we stand against. We are often branded too judgmental, too political, and too hypocritical – and that's not the way it's supposed to be.
"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." – John 13:34
They are supposed to know that we are Christians by our love. But sometimes that word, love, gets so fuzzy and emotional we forget that it's something that we do. More importantly, I'm afraid, we don't know how to love authentically.
Can I be so bold to ask you to turn the mirror on yourself? What's your branding as a believer? Do you know how to love as God calls us to love?
God of love, search my heart right now. Show me my thoughts. Expose the ways that I don't love as I should. Show me how I could love, now that You are living inside of me. Lead me in Your way of everlasting love so that the world will be touched by You living through me, and so they will know that You are real. Amen.
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