”Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10
The above command from Paul’s letter to the Romans leaves no room for discussion. No “well, what about?” and no “Oh, but I don’t think” or “well, surely that doesn’t mean . . . “ I believe we find what we seek in life much of the time. Okay, let me bring that more into focus, because love can be a scary concept. When we look for something or someone to criticize, we will surely find PLENTY. However, and this is a BIG however, if we as Christians seek to see Christ in those we meet – and we know He resides is all people – we will surely find Him and thus loving them becomes easy.
I was in a retail store picking up some sewing supplies I needed and feeling low because I had not found a job and was feeling scared I’d “lose everything.” As I stood at the counter in the store a stranger who I can only think of as an angel sent to me from God seemed to pick up on my need to be reminded to trust in the Lord and smiled at me and shared her testimony. Later in our conversation as we walked around the store talking about the Lord, I learned she had it as hard as I did but was walking in faith. Wow. I’m sure she had better things to do but spend that time with me, but she honored me above herself and shared the love of the Lord with me I left the store feeling that love and recalling the meeting brings that feeling back to me even now.
On another occasion, I found myself next to a stranger to me. The stranger was clearly dealing with a heartbreaking situation of which I knew nothing. I knew the Lord was telling me to show her His love and so I prayed for the Holy Spirit to speak through me and moved ahead in fear, but did as He commanded and showed her His love. I recalled later that I’d not been feeling well that night. Nothing in particular, just “one of those days” and the most remarkable thing happened. Reflecting the love of the Lord to this stranger blessed me!
There have been a number of occasions in which I’ve judged folks I didn’t know ANYTHING about and I can tell you that there are many times when He has revealed Himself to me through those very people as they showed His love to me. Had I been looking at them through the eyes of Christ, I’d have seen Him there! Looking through my human eyes and my own brokenness, I initially saw only flaws, but when He revealed Himself to me through these people, those flaws no longer had any importance to me. I can’t count the number of times a smile, a handshake, a kind word, or a hug from someone who in many cases I hardly knew changed my troubled spirit, changed my day, or changed my life. “Love one another” isn’t a suggestion, it’s a necessity. I love you!