Why We Struggle to Walk in Love
Imagine the night before Jesus’ crucifixion.
He had communion with His disciples and washed their feet. He tells the disciples that He’s leaving, and they can’t come. Then He said:
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34-35
These were part of His final words to the disciples. They had to be very important.
In reality, most people don’t think this is something they can actually do. It’s a goal they strive for with gritted teeth, but usually with little success.
Would Jesus give His disciples a command He knew they couldn’t keep? No! So why is it so hard for us to love other people? It’s simple.
We can’t give what we don’t have.
The majority of churches teach that God’s love is conditional. They misrepresent His love, and it’s one of the main reasons we are judgmental and harsh toward other people. Consciously or not, we tend to treat people the way we believe God treats us.
God doesn’t love us because we are lovely or because we read the Bible, go to church, pay our tithes or try to keep the command to love others as He loved us. The truth is He loves us without conditions.
God created us for relationship. But religion has turned us from “human beings” into “human doings.” We’ve come to believe that God loves us based on our performance. Therefore, we hold others to the same standard.
God’s love has never been and never will be conditional. He loves us at our worst.
Religion always puts the emphasis on the external. Once saved, religion says you must live holy, and the evidence of your holiness will likely be judged by the standards of your church.
That’s not how God sees us. God looks on the heart. First Samuel 16:7 says “… for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.”
As long as you believe God’s judging you on to your performance, you’ll never fully receive His love. There’s nothing you can do to earn it or deserve it, so just receive it as a free gift!
When you understand how much God loves you, it becomes easy to love others. And when you love others as He loves you, your behavior will change toward them.
The first-century church evangelized the known world in 30 years—without television, internet, or smartphones. But they loved one another, and it attracted people like honey attracts bees.