I love you.
I want you to love me too. However, my love for you is not hinged on your love for me.
I’ve recently spent some time thinking about how Christians in general and pastors specifically regard other Christians. How do you and I practically demonstrate these Scriptures?
After you read my list of 6, perhaps you’ll be inspired by the Holy Spirit to join me in this endeavor to demonstrate the agape` love that the New Testament teaches and Jesus Christ exemplifies.
1. We don’t have to be alike for me to love you.
When I was younger in the faith and more naive, I didn’t appreciate you as much as I do now. Back then, we seemed more different than alike. Now, I don’t think you’re that weird. You’re pricelessly different from me, and that’s okay. I love you more than ever.
2. We don’t have to have had the same life experiences for me to love you.
You might have a background similar to mine. Or you might come to the table of Christian fellowship with traditions that are unfamiliar to me. Maybe you possess strong convictions that prohibit you from sitting at the table with me. It’s okay. I still love you and the other people at your table.
3. We don’t have to agree on every political issue or vote the same for me to love you.
I’ll encourage you to filter the issues through the lens of Holy Scripture. I’ll encourage you to pray and seek to be led by the Holy Spirit before you vote on any issue or office. Even after all that, if you disagree with me on politics, it’s okay. I will still love you and the people on your side of the aisle.
4. We don’t have to agree on the Christian necessity of Bible reading and prayer for me to love you.
I’m still going to encourage you to practice them both. The Bible teaches me to love you and pray for you. Even if you never read the Bible or become the person of prayer you’re called to be, I will still love you.
5. We don’t have to agree on the non-salvation doctrines of Scripture.
I love you even if you disagree with my stance on the sign gifts of the Spirit, women in ministry, methods of evangelism, or eternal security. I will not insist you agree with me on everything I believe. Perhaps you’ll never allow me to lovingly explain why I believe what I believe. That’s okay. I’m still going to love you.
6. Lastly, we don’t even have to attend the same local church to serve the same Lord and go to His Heaven.
I don’t have to be your pastor to love you. I love you even if you’re not set by the Spirit as a member of the congregation I help lead. Maybe you used to be in an assembly I was helping lead, but you decided to move on for some reason. It’s really okay. I still love you, and it delights my heart to know you’re saved by the grace of God, plugged into a local Church, and on your way to Heaven.
Whether you are a Christian or just not sure about Bible-believing Christians, guess what?! I’m still going to love you.
Maybe you’ve never stepped onto a local church campus or in a worship service. Or perhaps, you’ve never heard an authentic presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The absolute truth is God loves you, and so do I.
God loves you, and so do I!