In the final days of his life, Jesus made an urgent plea with his disciples. Calling them “little children,” he shared a very simple command with them: Love one another.
That’s what often sticks in my mind from this discourse, but there’s something more to it.
Jesus follows that by saying, “You must love one another just as I have loved you.”
If we want to know what it looks like to love one another, we can look at the way Jesus has already loved us.
Putting this another way, Have you received love from Jesus? The love you receive from Jesus is the love you can pass along to others.
If it’s challenging to love others, then perhaps the place to begin isn’t within yourself, your own will, desires, or spiritual practices. The place to begin is what you’ve received.
Do I live in the security and affirmation of Jesus’ love? Have I let his love define my identity, my hope, or my priorities?
Perhaps the love of Jesus remains more of a theological doctrine, something you know in your head but don’t really experience or integrate into your life.
Love for others may feel more like a duty or a chore.
It’s true that our choices each day are very much a part of how we love others, but beneath those choices there can be something else driving us, directing us, and showing us the way forward.
This force residing beneath our willpower or choices is the fire of Jesus’ love for us.
This love has the power to shape us and direct us from within. It isn’t that our willpower or choice isn’t important. It’s that something stronger than duty or obligation shines a light for the path forward.
The way of burnout is marked with words like duty and obligation.
When we know how deeply God loves us, we are free to respond with grace and gratitude, to share that goodness with others, and to love out of the abundance God has given us.
Read More about Contemplative Prayer…
After years of anxious, hard-working spirituality, I found peace with God by practicing contemplative prayer. I’ve written an introduction to this historic Christian practice titled:
Flee, Be Silent, Pray:
Ancient Prayers for Anxious Christians
On sale for $8.49 (Kindle)