How can we be gracious with people in our lives that we just don’t click with? The people I like to call, our spiritual sandpaper? Today we looking at what the Bible says about loving one another, even the people who chew really loud.
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How Do We Love Those we Don't Click with?
God is sanctifying us to be set apart from the world! God uses a variety of things, including people to mature us for His glory and our good.
When answering how do we love those we don't click with we need to consider what the Word says about loving one another.
1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.
- the commandment is to believe in Jesus and love another- is inseparable
- Our creed is shown by conduct - what we believe will come out in our actions, and how we behave will show what we believe
- loving one another is bound up in our faith in Christ to be the one who forgives our sins and gives us everything we need for life and godliness
There are blessings to loving others:
- loving others shows assurance of our salvation - 1 John 4:7, 1 John 3:14, 1 John 3:10, 1 John 4:8, 1 John 2:9-10
- loving others shows the world that we are disciples of Christ - it is evangelism that proclaims the existence of God by how we treat fellow believers! John 13:35
Galatians 5:13-15 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
- We are in freedom to love because we get to love out of the fullness of Christ in our hearts.
- We are not slaves to the flesh - to the empty ways of trying to satisfy ourselves. Don’t return to those things, those ways.
Practical Truths about Love
- Love in the 1 John 3:23 verse is in the present tense - this means to love calls for a continual practice of selfless, sacrificial, God-like love.
- Love is not a feeling, but a choice
- We are called to imitate how God loves us - specifically, sacrificially, does not require it to be reciprocal
- NOT ONLY IMITATE - John Piper talks about this - “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. Yes, but not by copying my fruit, but by connecting to my vine. You don’t mainly imitate. You participate. Your love for each other is not a simulation of mine, but a manifestation of mine. You are the branches. I am the vine. If you abide in me, you can bear fruit, and prove to be my disciples. This its how all people know you are truly my disciples.”
SHOWING LOVE TO OTHERS IS ONLY POSSIBLE because we are grafted into the vine - into the life and love of Christ. We love as he loved because we love with his love.
Questions to Ponder
So when I think of how can be gracious to people I don’t click with, I need to be asking myself, how can I obey God in loving others.
- How can I be patient with others?
- How can I put aside pure preference of things rather than starting fights and quarrels about them
- How can I serve out of the joy of my salvation? The freedom I have in Christ?
- How can I be objective about loving others rather than relying on a feeling.
John Piper article about loving one another:
Table Talk - Ligonier Magazine https://www.ligonier.org/tabletalk/