by Michelle Meeks
John 13:34-35 – A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
This year, I decided to take the “One Word” challenge from Mike Ashcraft and Rachel Olsen’s book My One Word: Change Your Life With Just One Word. Praying about my word, I heard the verse “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3). Love, as in God’s love for us and how He wants us to love others, is my word. The Greek word for this type of love is agape, which means “unconditional love that is always giving and impossible to take or be a taker. It devotes total commitment to seek your highest best no matter how anyone may respond. This form of love is totally selfless and does not change whether the love given is returned or not. This is the original and only true form of love.”
Just this past year, our church family lost a dear sweet woman, who lived out this definition. I didn’t know her well, but I always felt the love of Jesus flowing from her as she hugged me. Co-workers talked about going into her office, where she would pray for them and how she always made them feel better. Friends shared how she loved people and made them feel welcome. They said she was a “safe place” when they needed to talk. She lived out John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another”.
I can honestly say this is not an easy commandment. People hurt our feelings, they reject us, they make us mad, and some people are just hard to get along with. But, Jesus commands us to love each other, so the world will know we are His disciples (John 13:35). 1 John 4:7 says to love each other, because love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. Love is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). So if God is in us, His love is in us, and we are to show it to others, regardless of how they treat us.
This year, I want to learn more about His love for me; to be so filled with His love, I can’t hold it in. I want to be known as someone like Pam, who loved, as Jesus loves.