Christians can really be mean to each other. We are quick to point out faults. We gossip and envy one another. It is not a pretty picture, yet Jesus says when we love each other, the world will know that we belong to Him.
So, how do we fix this? John Piper, a great Bible teacher, taught on these two verses and he said, “Look. This is a new commandment. This is not this idea of Christians loving each other just like Christ loved us. This is a commandment. It’s not a suggestion. We are to love one another.”
You see, when you came to Christ, you realized at that point that your life was on the wrong path. And you turned and said, “Jesus is the right path.” You agreed to Him being the boss. So you said, “Thank you for saving me, but also thank You for being in charge of me now. I submit to Your commands.”Â So we are commanded, it’s not optional, that we as Christians love each other. He died for us, and He forgives us unconditionally. And He gives us chance after chance, and grace after grace. Then we mess up again and what does He do? He comes and holds us close to Him. Why can’t we love each other like that and say, “You know what? I know that you’re a mess,Â and then show them we love them?
Jesus is so concerned about us being right with each other that He said, “It’s better for you to stop worshiping and ask forgiveness than it is just to keep worshiping and doing your church thing.” Is there somebody you need to forgive? Somebody you struggle to love? Get it right, so folks outside the church can say, “Those folks really love each other. I guess that’s what it’s like to be a Christian.”