A Note from the Director of Youth & Families

April 2022

Grant Hartsell

Jesus loved people. He loved thieves, prostitutes, tax collectors, diseased people, poor people, children and His followers. He loved people who were devoted to Him and those who were different from Him. He even loved difficult and dangerous people. And His love is the same today as it was 2,000 years ago.

Because we are loved by Him, we are called to love like Him. The extent to which we love one another validates and communicates our faith (John 13:34-35).

The New Testament contains 54 “one another” passages that teach us how to love.

Forgive one another (Colossians 3:13). The ultimate example of forgiveness was displayed when Jesus hung on the Cross and cried out for those who were crucifying Him: “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). We should forgive others even when they don’t deserve it or ask for it. That demonstrates a love that keeps no record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5).

Accept one another (Romans 15:7). To truly love someone, you must avoid trying to change the person for your own purposes. Accepting love is patient and kind, even when someone does not meet your expectations (1 Corinthians 13:4).

Honor one another (Romans 12:10). Honor means to esteem someone as highly valuable. It leads us to treat others as though they are personally autographed by God. When we value others above ourselves, we are emulating the attitude of Christ (Philippians 2:3-5).

But what if the person you are trying to love does not receive it? Loving others isn’t always easy, but a Christlike love means forgiving, accepting and honoring even those who are different and difficult. Our ability to love others comes from God (1 John 4:7). We can only give love when our hearts are full of God’s love. That is the formula. Any other attempt at loving one another simply does not work.