Most people do not know how to love one another. We must learn how to do that. So, without that knowledge, most people only love those who agree with them politically or socially or morally. If you are different, they think, What is wrong with you, the views you hold are bad… so you must be a bad person for holding them. By thinking this way, we exclude and mistreat others.
Jesus teaches something different. He consistently demonstrated love for “the other,” for “sinners”, and “bad people.” Then, he gave up his life for us, as Romans 5:10 teaches, when we were his enemies. Jesus did that because we are all worth love; we are all made in his image. Then, he said: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).
Bobby Harrington, author of this blog and executive director of Discipleship.org will be speaker at the 2017 National Disciple Making Forum.
This is one of the largest gatherings of disciple makers in North America with 65+ workshops, 15+ speakers, and 10+ tracks. Join us to learn practical ways to make disciples of Jesus this November 9-10 (Thursday-Friday). Register for the 2017 National Disciple Making Forum here.
Loving Like Jesus Today
Chip and Joanna Gaines, from the show Fixer Upper, showed us what Jesus’ teachings look like. Progressive political people started criticizing them because they hold to traditional Biblical morality on marriage. They responded in a way that shows that they love like Jesus:
If there is any hope for all of us to move forward, to heal and to grow – we have got to Joanna and I have personal convictions. One of them is this: we care about you for the simple fact that you are a person, our neighbor on planet earth. It’s not about what color your skin is, how much money you have in the bank, your political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, nationality or faith. That’s all fascinating, but it cannot add or take away from the reality that we’re already pulling for you
If I misjudge people and am wrong, I want to be wrong having assumed the best about them. The bottom line is, I would rather be loving than be right.
Our family wants to fight for a world that knows how to lovingly disagree. We believe it starts when we operate from a position of love in all things. If your position only extends love to the people who agree with you, we want to respectfully challenge that position.
That is what it means to love like Jesus. It is the hallmark of a true disciple maker.
Written by Bobby Harrington
Bobby Harrington is the Executive Director of Discipleship.org, a national platform, conference, and ministry that advocates for Jesus’ style of disciple making. He is the founding and lead pastor of Harpeth Christian Church (by the Harpeth River, just outside of Nashville, TN). He has a Doctor of Ministry degree in consulting and has spent years as a coach to church planters and senior pastors. He is the author of several books on discipleship, including DiscipleShift (with Jim Putman and Robert Coleman) and The Disciple Maker’s Handbook (with Josh Patrick).
Image: Magnolia Market, used with permission.
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