“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Have you ever hated someone just because of their atmosphere? Or have you ever got irritated on someone for no certain reason? Like, when you see them your whole day is ruined? Whether at school, or at work, or in church, I bet you have those people. Let me share you my story…
I got to know and accept Jesus Christ when I was 12 and indulged myself in His praise and worship ministry when I reached 13. I have this knowledge that not everyone would like me and want to be with me. I am new and young and was still adjusting with the people in the team. But every adjustment period in a group ends and my “newbie” label ended. I became part of the team and recognized to be a part of it. As I spend more years in the ministry, new and younger musicians came. I became one of those who are welcoming and orienting the newbie. I had pride because I am no longer lost with the routines of the ministry. Plus the fact that I already have friends within the team and we’re so exclusive made me proud of us—of myself. When new generation of musicians are coming and won’t be able to finish their trainings to get permanent in the team, there’s a leap of joy in my heart because I felt that we’re so private; that our walls are closed to other worship leaders. I became unwelcoming to the younger generation of musicians as if I am untouchable. I had the thought that the worship team is a “survival of the fittest” ministry. The pride in my heart got bigger because I knew that I am staying and surviving. Back then, there’s no room for newbies in the ministry. I considered competitors those who are new and stayed longer than the others. When they don’t please me I’ll put boundaries and consider them not friends or acquaintances. I thought that it’s their attitude that made me unlike them. Little did I know that it was my very self that I was hating and not accepting. This story is just in the Church…I also have the same story at school, at home and even in the society.
I can still remember up to now that it was really hard for me to accept people for who they are and who they are not. Unknowingly, I was having a hard time accepting myself. Loving other people was a struggle to me because I don’t love myself. I love people conditionally because I love myself the same way. One thing I’ve learned is this: “How we treat others is how we treat ourselves.”
Just like in every other bondage, my freedom took place when I began to forgive. By the grace of God, I was able to detect my sin, I was able to know what to do, but I don’t know how to start. Because I took for granted of forgiving myself, I had a hard time forgiving other people.
Unforgiveness limits us to share the love of the Lord. We become limited with the unforgiving heart that we have. Loving and accepting others conditionally is not Jesus-like. Unforgiveness makes us incapable of doing Jesus’ second commandment and lose the chance to share Him to other people. Because when we love one another, we are His disciples and the world will recognize that. (John 13:35)
Loving one another is not seasonal. As we love the Lord deeply, seek to experience Him more and follow His will, we should also love and accept our brethren because what we do to them we also do to the Lord. This is Jesus’ way.
Remember Judas Iscariot? Yes, the one who betrayed Jesus. The Lord knows that he’ll betray Him. He knows that well but He never neglected and took him for granted. Judas is even one of the closest to the Lord.
We love the Lord and loving Him requires us to love one another. Let not your unforgiving heart hinder you from being a channel of God’s perfect love.
God bless you abundantly!