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Daily Strength Blog

Christian love does not mean that I must like a person and agree with him on everything. I may not like his vocabulary or his habits, and I may not want him for an intimate friend. Christian love means treating others the way God has treated me. It is an act of the will, not an emotion that I try to manufacture. The motive is to glorify God. The means is the power of the Spirit within, “for the fruit of the Spirit is love” (Galatians 5:22). As I act in
love toward another, I may find myself drawn more and more to him, and I may see in him—through Christ—qualities that before were hidden to me.

Christian love also does not leave a person where it finds him. Love should help the poor man do better, love should help the rich man make better use of his God-given resources. Love always builds up; hatred always tears down.

We only believe as much of the Bible as we practice. If we fail to obey the most important Word—“love thy neighbor as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18)—then we will not do any good with the lesser matters of the Word. It was a glaring fault in the Pharisees that they were careful about the minor matters and careless about the fundamentals. They broke the very Law they thought they were defending!

Christ said: “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are My disciples if you love one another” (John 13:34-35, NIV).

Other references: John 15:12-13; 17:23; Romans 13:10; James 2:8-10; 1 John 4:11-12.

Action assignment: Ask God for opportunities to demonstrate Christian love by treating others the way God has treated us.

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