“In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more than yourselves. Don’t be interested only in your own life, but care about the lives of others too.” ~ Philippians 2:3-4
There are a lot of sermons on loving others, but what does that actually look like?
Christ’s love happens when you love others when it’s difficult. If you harbor annoyance in your heart towards someone, then you don’t harbor love for them. If your annoyance leads you to ignore or avoid them, then you do not love them. If any negative feeling towards someone causes you to treat them differently, then you are not harboring the love of Christ for them.
Let’s not fool ourselves. My excrement stinks just as bad as others, and so does yours. All of us suck, so let’s not pretend that we are better than others. Ignoring and avoiding others is the expression of a dark and selfish attitude that says “I am better than you.”
We need to love people in word and action, the mud that they carry and the cleanliness that we enjoy. Everyone is a mixed bag of things that are annoying and pleasant, including you.
When people annoy us or make us angry, we need to ask for forgiveness for our selfish attitude and purpose to show them Christ’s love, rather than merely speaking about it. It’s easy to speak about loving others, it’s more difficult to actually love others.
How we love others is our testimony to the hearts of others. People are watching us too. They see how we treat others, and those being mistreated are watching our testimony as well.
So let us get out of our self-absorbtion, honor others more than ourselves, and purpose to put action and words to our professed belief in Christ. An increasingly lost world is watching, and our Savior is hurting for us to venture as such.