By David Cariaga
One of the problems in Christianity today is “true AGAPE – Love among Christians.” Why do we so often fail to love? Because, like the Pharisees, we often do not get what we want and, to get our wants met, we act out of self-protective measures in very unloving ways, or our overt acts of love are really acts of hypocritical self love. We build walls around ourselves for protection, but these walls become hindrances to our ability to love. Jesus said; “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another” John 13:34 (ASV). Matthew Henry Commentary says; “Men in general notice any of Christ’s words rather than these. By this it appears, that if the followers of Christ do not show love one to another, they give cause to suspect their sincerity.”
This way, we can say a person has not matured when he does not know how to love. Other problems that we see is that the person has so many suspicion, anger, selfishness making evident his or her dislikes and likes, easy to judge or prejudice to any race, color, education or nationality of origin.
We come to question, who then is superior and by what category can we say someone is good and not good? What gives us the right to be judgmental to others? Considering we ourselves are not perfect like anyone else. If this is a wrong habit or attitude to anyone, we Christians should put a stop on this attitude and grow to be mature. Destroy the walls that hinders our ability to love others. We cannot grow without love nor be united when we build walls around us. Mark 12:28-33 evidently show the two great commandments and the many commands to love one another. This is the clear mark of maturity. A mature man or woman will be one who loves and cultivate affection across differences. But consider what Spurgeon says and notice the intensity of hate and love:
“Where the Spirit of God is there must be love, and if I have once known and recognized any man to be my brother in Christ Jesus, the love of Christ constraineth me no more to think of him as a stranger or foreigner, but a fellow citizen with the saints. Now I hate High Churchism as my soul hates Satan; but I love George Herbert, although George Herbert is a desperately High Churchman. I hate his High Churchism, but I love George Herbert from my very soul, and I have a warm corner in my heart for every man who is like him. Let me find a man who loves my Lord Jesus Christ as George Herbert did and I do not ask myself whether I shall love him or not; there is no room for question, for I cannot help myself; unless I can leave off loving Jesus Christ, I cannot cease loving those who love him.” (The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, vol. XII, 6)
Brother David Cariaga is the pulpit minister at the Convoy Avenue church of Christ, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada