The Absence of Love
In John 13:34–35, Jesus tells us to love one another in the same manner that He loves us. He then says this: “By this will all men know that you are my disciples” by the love they possessed and exhibited with each other. Jesus could have given a number of different ways which may have possibly identified us as His chosen people, but He hones in directly on this one all-important sign: love, not just love itself but the kind of love that would clearly connect us to the love He has given and displayed in us. It’s the genuine and sincere love that we would share with one another that is the hallmark, the identifier, the tangible factor, which would reveal to the world that we are indeed believers in and followers of Christ.
The New Testament speaks clearly and is saturated with imperatives concerning how and why we are to love God, our fellow believers, and even our enemies. If love would be the aim, the target, the bull’s-eye, so to speak, how many of us are hitting the target? How many of us are even aiming for it? It is the negligence and lack of love that has compelled me to write this book.
It has grieved me so deeply to see and experience that absence of love from so many who profess to be Christians, yet the constant mean-spirited behavior has clearly spoken the opposite of what love is and what love does. It grieves me even more deeply to discover the same behavior that I can be guilty of personally if and when I allow selfishness to rule my own thoughts and actions. I find myself in need of constant repentance. My experiences have been painfully real as they pertain to an absence of love in God’s people. It has caused me to cry out for more and more of God’s patience and grace to love.
I believe that if we are lacking in love for others, it is because we are not properly connected to the source of love which is Christ, the vine. It is the love we have and exhibit to one another that matters most; and if we are lacking it, this should be of the utmost concern.