What I find attractive about Christianity compared to all other religions or philosophy is the radical kind of love. When we see Jesus and his time on earth, we do see this unusual kind of love. The good shepherd who would give his life for the sheep (John 10:11). The rabbi who would wash his disciples’ feet (John 13). And he was not only talk but did what he proclaimed.
In the first century, so many people started believing in Christ and automatically lived their lives in the expression of His love. They were not self focussed. And as an example, they gave up everything they had. This love got them to a point where what an average person holds dear, it meant nothing to them anymore!! Imagine that conviction, that made them give up everything they owned. So when the persecution broke out in Jerusalem, most of these new Christians were dispersed into the various ends of the Roman world. And the truth of the Gospel was spreading like wildfire. More people were accepting the new faith in spite of the great persecution. Something that makes me wonder is that most of these people were just commoners. They were not intellectuals or apologetics. Neither did they have access to the latest technology or had huge chunks of money for promotion. Yet something was so attractive about the gospel, which was beyond the philosophies and intellect of those times. Something so intriguing, that brought people to the truth.
It was love. Radical love as Christ loves us – changed the course of history.
History tells us that three centuries later, Christianity became an accepted popular faith in the Roman Empire. Christianity was properly institutionalized, having a lot of power in the government. And do you know what we did when we had so much power in our hands? The atrocities that were done to the church in the first century is far less compared to what we had done to the world. We killed in the name of Christ, abusing our power and hence steering ourselves into the dark ages.
What I’m trying to say is, that it is possible to forget the very essence of love when we focus on our doing than focusing on Him from whom this radical love flows. We are so caught up with the story of the good Samaritan, that we have forgotten the essence of it’s message. That’s it’s not just difficult to love but impossible to love unconditionally. We have been nurtured to be self focused. And so we end up doing our own versions of love which hurts rather than heal.
We cannot love on our own.
We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). The love that we experience from Jesus becomes a powerhouse and automatically flows from us. He is love and we merely respond. We were designed to live our lives in an automatic expression of His love. And it’s so important to stress on that. Stress on His love. Stress on His relationship with us. We can only love like Christ if we are constantly aware of His love. It’s our faith in Christ that’s reflected in our love for people. Church (we – the body of Christ) is not meant to be a place for us to point out who is right or wrong, but to walk with them in their struggles of faith. So the question you need to ask yourself is not, if you have enough love for people, but do you really know how much He loves you? If you do know then that knowledge of His love will surely flow from your life.
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