This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do.
John 15: 12-14
Does the ability to love and show affection come to us by nature or by example? Considering our condition of being born into sin, I have to wonder if we come by loving honestly. We have all read the stories about humans who are left to be raised by wild animals, or seen images on T.V. about animals raised in isolation. It’s easy to see that the level of understanding about love and affection is limited in those rare occasions.
I know from personal experience how difficult it is to show affection when our own upbringing is lacking in outward expressions of it. Yet Christ commands that we not only love, but demonstrate that love by how we treat one another. We don’t have to go around looking for opportunities to literally lay down our lives, but there are other ways to show strong affection.
It doesn’t take a huge investment on our part to demonstrate love. Christ invested his very life to put his love into us that we might share it with others. He laid down his life so that we might experience the kind of love that was meant to give away. A simple smile, a warm handshake, a heartfelt hug are sometimes all it takes to relate affection to another.
We are called to be the love of Christ on earth. Contrary to what we might think, it is not an optional part of being a Christian. Even though it may not “feel” natural or comfortable, we must pass on the love that is given us. We don’t walk by feelings, but by faith and obedience.
Who will you love today?