I love mornings like this, created by Sascalia
This weekend, my 4-year-old son, Andrew, met many of his cousins for the first time.
Having arrived home from Thailand 3 months ago, my little boy is still adjusting to the inter-personal protocol expected by his peers. I was sitting in a nearby room at my in-laws’ home when I heard some commotion from the pack of young cousins in the hallway. After they established that Andrew had done something they didn’t like, one of the cousins said this:
“Andrew is one of us now since he is our new cousin. We need to be nice to him.”
Out of the mouth of babes.
After praising God privately that these children were willing to accept my son with open arms, my mind traveled to my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Life abounds with opportunities to be frustrated by fellow believers. Christians who we think should know better struggle with addictions, make wrong choices, fail their commitments, and hurt our feelings. The church is full of believers who have been disappointed by other believers.
Yet the Bible is clear.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 ESV).
The reality is this: our love is only worth as much as it costs us to demonstrate it. It is easy to say we love those we worship with until they frustrate us. As soon as it costs us something to love that person–forgiveness, mercy, patience–we see how genuine our love truly is. Kindness in the face of annoyance is a litmus test for love.
Like my son’s cousin in the hallway this weekend, we should make the decision to say of our brothers and sisters in Christ:
“_________ is one of us now since he is in the family of God. We need to be nice to him.”
Imagine how we could revolutionize our interactions within the church if we shared this conviction.