This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. – 1 John 3:11
There is nothing more plaintive and comprehendable than that simple statement. We should love one another. Who could disagree with it? The Amplified Bible gives insight when it offers this translation:
For this is the message which you [believers] have heard from the beginning [of your relationship with Christ], that we should [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another…
To love is to unselfishly seek the best for one another.
It is simple, but complicated. Our minds immediately begin to search for exceptions. We wonder if we can really seek the best for someone we do not like very much. Maybe the passage just means ‘be nice to your brothers and sisters’. Maybe there are loopholes here that make my feelings toward a brother or sister acceptable. After all, they deserve to be … less than loved in this way.
Let me make this perfectly clear: ALL of us deserve to be less than loved. If the truth were known, and all of our motives and misdeeds were exposed, we would recognize the big job it is to love one another. It takes a lot of grace to love someone you know really well.
In the end, it’s not what you believe or understand about love that matters.
“We know what real love is because Jessus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters” – 1 John 3:12.
To understand how to love my brothers and sisters, I simply must replicate the love I have experienced from Christ. He unselfishly sought the best for another… for me.
That’s the message we have heard from the beginning. What’s keeping us from loving one another?