Last night, my wife and I went to see our grandson. He has a new swing in a tree that his dad put up. I put him in and then gave him a push to get the swing going. We talked to him, played with him and smiled as we watched him enjoy this new experience. He’s almost 6 months old, the swinging motion is very relaxing, and we noticed his eyes were getting heavy as he went back and forth. When it was time to go in, I plucked him from his seat and gathered him in my arms. That’s when he put his head on my shoulder and cuddled into me. What a great feeling, a wave of love flowed over me and I told him, “Grandpa loves you and I will do anything for you.”
Jesus said another mark of his followers was a willingness to practice love. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13: 35
It’s fairly easy to love those who are lovable. I have no problem loving my grandson. Even when he is crying or unhappy (and when he grows older and acts rebellious), I will love him, for he is a part of my family. Jesus wants his followers to extend this type of love to everyone we come into contact with. This type of accepting love does set Jesus’ followers apart from the rest of the world, for the world is not accustomed to love like this.
This love is more than a feeling, it’s a choice we make. This love is an action, not a reaction. This love does not place conditions on the object of love, but flows love regardless of the response. This love is not easy to practice. But, this love is the love that marks a follower of Jesus.
I fail to practice this type of love more often than I want to admit, but every now and then, I get it right. I’m going to try today (one day at a time), to practice this type of love with those I come into contact with (especially those who belong to the family of believers). I want to live as a follower of my leader.