I’ve been thinking a lot lately about love and hate. It seems in many ways lately we have far more examples of hate than love. Love seems to be defined in some circles as a weak emotion, or as measured by what the object of our love can do for us. “How can you fill my desires?” “What will you do for me?” Far too often ‘love’ ends when needs aren’t met; opinions aren’t valued; desires fall short; dreams are shattered.

Especially for us who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, love must always be defined by the perfect example of love, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the Son of the living God.

One of the most popular verses in the Bible is John 3:16, ““For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

But we often overlook the very next verse, and to me this verse sets the stage for the previous verse and life in general. “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” (John‬ ‭3:17‬) Imagine that! NO condemnation! Paul writes the same thing in Romans, “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” (Romans‬ ‭8:1‬)

That’s love! Being passionate about a relationship with someone who is, in every way, shape and form different than you with absolutely no chance to measure up to your standards.

Jesus calls us to love! Especially to love those who are brothers and sisters in the faith. “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.” (John‬ ‭13:34‬)‭

So how can we, as believers in Jesus do anything other than love? Recently I’ve seen so much hatred expressed on social media. Some has been by non-believers and that’s to be expected. But much Seems to be directed towards professing Christians who may read a different version of the Bible, attend a different denomination, or hold to different opinions on doctrine or theology.

Brothers and sisters. Let us not forget we are to shine the light and love of Jesus wherever we go! John puts it bluntly. If you don’t love, question who your God is.