In this passage, Jesus gives us a clear picture of what it means to love him: loving one another. That is not always easy. We often respond to people out of our own brokenness, insecurity, or fear, saying things we don’t mean. Or we strike back at people who are operating from their areas of pain. We might ignore a person or gossip about someone with whom we don’t get along.
Sometimes, even within the church family, we are not very good at showing the type of love to which Jesus calls us. And it seems to me that part of the problem is that we have a limited understanding of this love that Jesus is prescribing for the Christian community. He’s not saying we should always have warm, fuzzy feelings about each other. Sometimes being loving means being honest or holding someone accountable, but to do so with gentleness. C.S. Lewis said, “Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” May that be our goal and may our community of faith be known for that type of love.
Think about the people you have a difficult time loving. Offer each of these people to God in prayer, seeking only their ultimate good.