By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35 ESV)
Historians attribute the rapid spread of Christianity to the fiercely unrelenting kindness the early church demonstrated in the face of great odds. Another way to say that is that Christianity spread far and fast because of how well they demonstrated love. Because true love is relentless.
Jesus explained to his followers that love would be the identifying characteristic of followship. His people were to be a people of love. They were to be set apart from the world around them.
Why then does that not always seem to be the case in our world? Sometimes people who call themselves Christians can be the meanest people around. That stands in stark contrast to the words of Jesus.
The call to love is more than a suggestion. It isn’t pop psychology either. It is a commandment straight from the mouth of the Son of God. It isn’t optional. We don’t get to choose who we will or won’t love. We are called, no commanded, to love. It’s time we stepped it up.