Friday, March 5, 2021
My mother gave birth to three sons within thirty-three months. As we grew, she was determined that we would know how to manage everyday household chores. From an early age we washed and dried dishes, cleaned toilets, scrubbed floors, dusted furniture, vacuumed floors, and did laundry, including folding it after it was dry. The second hardest thing I ever learned was to fold a fitted sheet. You may be asking what could be harder than that. The answer is easy. Learning to fold the sheet differently after getting married.
When we learn something, we learn best when we imitate the teacher. However, when we become the teacher, we protect our way of doing it. This can cause conflict when there are multiple acceptable ways of accomplishing a task. Most of the tasks we do in life have a variety of methods for completion. There will be problems in our relationships when we fight to prove that our way is the best way.
But when there is only one way to do something, everyone should do it that way, right? Unfortunately, conflict still arises as we argue about the validity or the value of the one way. Opinion is elevated to an equal position of authority and the truth is manipulated by those opinions.
Such is the case with the subject of love. Jesus declared there is only one way to love. Jesus lived exclusively in that one way of love. Jesus commanded us to love the same way He did since it’s the only way to love.
John 13:34-35 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.”
Jesus stooped to wash the disciple’s feet, even the disciple who hated Him and betrayed Him. He washed the feet of the one who would publicly deny Him. He washed the feet of those who would doubt Him and hide from Him in His greatest hour of need. Jesus showed us the one and only way of love – sacrifice of self for the sake of others.
Why is it that we argue about how to love others? Why do we justify our self-centered motives for love based on benefits we will receive? Why do we exclude from our expressions of love certain people who have hurt us? We do we build walls of self-protection? Did not Jesus command us to love just as He loves us?
That’s a tough challenge for our consideration. However, it is only tough if we do not yet understand the love that has been shown to us. That’s your starting point. Spend time considering the eternal love of God expressed through Jesus Christ for unworthy and undeserving us. Then, with a fresh sense of how much love has been lavished on you that you should be called a child of God, you will be able to love others as you have been loved.