7 years ago you would be hard pressed to find me in a place of self-sacrifice which looking back, pains me to admit. I was on a mission to achieve and accomplish what God put in me to do through music and ministry and entrepreneurship. I was so focused on the goal and the achievement that I overlooked people. I was too busy to make time and space for someone else and their need. I had convinced myself that what I was doing was for the Lord so it was more important. I quickly found myself in a season of isolation where depression and anxiety and hyper self-awareness ran rampant. I was not focused on serving the least of these. I was not focused on meeting others needs.
I was focused on me and what I could be used to do. What greatness I could accomplish on my own.
Until my Jesus got ahold of me and taught me an incredibly powerful lesson that I pray I will never forget.
You will be known by your love... For me, that is a convicting and sobering thought.
So often we are too busy to love and care the way Jesus would. So often we put our own needs and interests above someone else’s. As a human, loving the way God loves is not an easy task. When I think back at all the times I missed an opportunity to share the love of God because of my own selfish desires, I cringe.
I believe we miss so many opportunities to share the love of God and the good news of Jesus because of our lack of unity.
It says in John 13:35, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
If the way we as believers are interacting with each other is aggressive, unforgiving and harsh, the world runs far away. When we can’t agree or have grace for one another, others see that.
The love that God calls us to is a love our culture knows nothing about, it is something we have to model. Love isn’t cheap and definitely not self-seeking in the Kingdom of God. It is beautiful and whole and complete.
Love in our world is about what makes us feel good and whole. Love in God’s world is about giving of ourselves and making others feel his love and goodness, while receiving that same miraculous love from other believers. That kind of love is the only kind that truly fulfills.
God’s design is for us to have each other. To never be alone. To always be a part of our eternal family in a way the world can never understand. You are a piece of a magnificent puzzle. A branch on an abundant vine. A member of a holy set apart body. You were designed to carry a specific role within community.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:10, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”
The community of Christ followers will always be defined and acknowledged by the love in our hearts for one another. Unity within the body of Christ is crucial for showing God’s design of real, eternal, selfless love.
We are set apart. We are meant to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Salt to preserve the earth. Light to illuminate darkness. We may be the only Jesus some people will ever encounter and our love is how they will experience God. Because God is love.
And we as His disciples, will be known by our love.
With love, Tiffany