Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | August 12, 2021

Reflective Love

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

My memory isn’t great—and it’s not just because I’ve surpassed that big 5-0 mark. Ask my friends from high school and college, and they’ll tell you that whenever we’ve gotten together through the years to reminisce, I’m usually the one who shakes her head and says, “Nope, I don’t recall that.” But play a song from 1982 that I haven’t heard in 30 years, and I will be able to sing every word.

That being said, when I was reading John’s gospel recently and got to verses 34 and 35 of chapter 13, a song I learned in elementary school came rushing back—tambourines and all. (I spent seven years in Catholic school, so my peeps out there can give me an “Amen” to the tambourines…although, there aren’t any “Amen” shoutouts during Mass. But I digress.) The song is “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” (Hoping to find it the 70s version on YouTube, I discovered that the song has actually been recently remade. Sadly, no tambourines.)

Anyway, the lyrics tout unity among brothers and sisters in Christ, asserting that believers will recognize each other by the love we have for one another. This brotherly/sisterly love is a reflection of the love Jesus has for us—love He ultimately displayed through His death and resurrection for our salvation.

Have you ever started chatting with a stranger, say at Walmart or the tire store, and just recognized a certain something in them—a light perhaps, or an unmistakable spirit-level connection? That’s Christian love. An attraction we have toward God’s people. It’s pretty cool, actually.

But more than that, we are called to love these brothers and sisters out of obedience…even if we don’t like them very much. And our Apostle friend John had a lot to say about this too. “If someone says, “I love God,” and yet he hates his brother or sister, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother and sister whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen” (1 John 4:20). Ouch. This love is also evidence of our reconciliation with God: “We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers and sisters. The one who does not love remains in death. Everyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him” (1 John 3:14-15).

Many years ago, I read a cool saying (it would actually make a great tattoo): “Be the moon. Reflect the Son.” God loved us so much, He gave His only Son so we could have eternal life (John 3:16). So, how about it, sister? When we meet brothers and sisters in Christ (from strangers to Sunday School classmates), let’s demonstrate reflective love.

“Lord, may I “be the moon” as I interact with Your children—my brothers and sisters—and love them in response to Your love for me.”

For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life





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