“This is love, that we walk according to His commandments.” (2 John 6)
People have many ways of interpreting what it means to love another but John defines it in the one true and godly way. The way to show godly love to another, regardless of the kind of relationship we have with that one, is to be obedient to the Divine Nature. The Divine Nature is often revealed in the Bible in the form of commandments.
As we read the Bible we find directives and commandments regarding all kinds of human relationships. Not surprisingly they all have their basis in our relationship with God. The most intimate of these relationships is between husband and wife. Then there are our relationships with our children, parents, other Christians, employers or employees, those who falsely witness, the religious and with non-believers. For all these there are instructions and guidelines for our attitude and behaviour in the Bible. Living in this way, or “walking according to them,” is real genuine love toward the other regardless of what they may think or how they respond.
Years ago I met a man at work who said he was a Christian. I had been sharing the Gospel with another fellow worker so I asked him to share his testimony with him. What I didn’t know was that this man had backslidden. He shared his testimony and it gave evidence that he was truly born of God but the redness of his face told me something was not quite right. After work I apologised for embarrassing him but he saw it as Christ calling him back to renewed faith. He began again to walk with the Lord. He may not have wanted to hear that he was backslidden but it was the best thing for him.
On another occasion a fellow worker who claimed to be a Christian gave evidence in his words and behaviour that he didn’t understand how a person became a Christian or who really is a Christian. As I shared the Gospel with him he took offense claiming that I was not acting out of love toward him. Would it be love to let him live his life deceived only to find out on that fearsome day before the great white throne judgment that he was not saved at all? No! Love demands I tell him the truth. That man came to faith in Jesus Christ about a month later.
Perhaps we are slow to share the Gospel with our work mates because of fear that they will reject us or even become abusive. This will be our constant companion in the workplace if we show Christ’s love and share the Gospel with them.
If Christ’s love exists in us at all we will willingly and gladly carry this cross for the sake of the few who will receive the message. Some may not receive it right away but may later. If we have Christ’s love we will persevere.
The best thing we can do for any relationship is to live according to the directives and commands in God’s Word, the Bible. This is love and nothing else is.