“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jesus     John 13:35

Valentines day is coming up this weekend so this is the week our society is celebrating love! If you didn’t know that Valentines day is Saturday, then maybe this devo is also a quick wake up call, especially for all you married guys!

Of course, love is defined in so many different ways, by so many different people. We are told by the world that love has 50 shades of grey, but God’s word tells us that love is so much more than just self satisfaction. Jesus in our verse of the day wants the Christian’s love for one another to be a witness of our relationship with Him. Christians should have this unconditional, caring, protecting kind of love for one another. We shouldn’t just fake love when we see another brother or sister, but we should let that love be real and then carry into those behind the back conversations. But unfortunately, all the things that we faced in the world; jealousy, envy, discord, anger, discontent among others can also get in the way of us Christians being great witnesses. We need to apply this verse when we are tempted to allow those works of the flesh get in the way of what Jesus commanded us to do, simply love one another. So, when you are about to say something mean spirited, or just talk about somebody in a ‘spiritual conversation’, or just plain gossip about someone, then maybe you ought to pause and let this verse be a filter for your words. Are you loving that person? Would a non believer hear your words and know you are Jesus’ disciple? Would you say what you are about to say to your brother or sister’s face? If the answer to those 3 questions is no, then it’s time to for you to start applying what Jesus taught. Love one another.

If you have already been hurt by another Christians’ comments made behind your back, it’s tempting to not apply this verse. But we can’t stoop to their level and retaliate. Just love. Pray for them and don’t let your flesh get in the way of your witness. Let your love rise up and take the high road. If you are shocked because you thought that they were a more mature christian, just realize that they are man, flesh, weak, and without a real heart of repentance and change, they will probably carry on in the same bad habit, and their life witness will always be a weak one. The promise you know is that God knows what people have spoken in secret. He will be your avenger. You and I need to put the hurt of our pride aside and don’t respond to what their lack of character or immature relationship with Jesus displays. No, you don’t want to respond by throwing dirt back at others, because you will always end up getting your hands dirty. That back room, back biting comments that you heard spoken about you is not love, but it doesn’t mean that we should respond in the same way. You and I need to simply respond with love. Take the high road, pray for them, love them as Christ would by forgiving them, realize they are immature in Christ and then concentrate on what is really valuable in your life. If we apply this, then if we ever run into that person, we will be equipped to ask them with genuine love, why they would say those things behind your back. That’s where their walk may be challenged and inspired to change, because you speak to them in love. Love is our witness. Let’s never stoop to someone else’s definition of that word.

Now, let’s go love one another.