By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:35
The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God. Leviticus 19:34
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men. Luke 6:15
That about covers it. We are to love others in the body of Christ, we are to love strangers, and we are to love our enemies. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t fit in one of those three categories.
And there are no conditions placed on that call to love. It never says that we must only love when others live up to our expectations or when they love us first. Our Heavenly Father loves us in spite of our shortcomings. In spite of our sin. He asks us to love in the same way He loves us. If we withhold love when people don’t measure up, then our love is based on behavior. It becomes conditional. If God’s love for us was dependent upon our actions or our words where would we be?
He didn’t say it would be easy. He didn’t say it would be comfortable. He said it would bring Him glory! In the passage from John, quoted above, it says that all men will know that we are His disciples if we show love. Do all men know that you are a Christ-follower by watching how you love others?
Lord, teach us to love as you have loved us.