Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
If you’ve been in the Church for longer then a few days, you’ve likely heard the phrase WWJD “What Would Jesus Do?” We’ve taken this question, looked for the answer in the Bible, and found that Jesus Died for us. It’s what he would do because it’s what he did. He died. So when faced with a hard decision, in an intense argument, or having a hard time loving someone, what are you to do? You are to die. Maybe you’ll never be faced with the choice to physically die for your faith or your friends, but you are still to die. Die to your sin, die to your pride, die to your selfishness, your anger, your hostility, and your will. You are to forgive, as Christ has forgiven you and paid the penalty for his death. Those who are forgiven much love much. (Luke 7:47) Do you know how much you need forgiveness? If you don’t, forgiving and being kind to those around you may be impossible.
1 John 3:16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
In order to treat others like Jesus died for them, you must first understand that Jesus died because of you.
We are called to radically love the sinners around us, not just the “saints.” Jesus said that He came not for the righteous but for the sinners (Matthew 9:13.) Jesus pursued the sinners, the castaways of society, and the ostracized with a pursuit so great that He laid down His life for them–and for you. Jesus did not die for the perfect and righteous you. He died for the broken, wretched, sinful you. He died for you sharing gossip that could ruin your friend’s reputation, He died for you scrolling through images you never should be looking at, He died for you turning your back on that person in need, and He died for you (fill in the blank.) Jesus died for the worst of you so that you could become the best version of yourself through Him. He loved you so that you could love others. He died for us so we could lay down our life sacrificially for one another.
This is an impossible task, yet as Jesus said to His disciples, with Him, all things are possible. To treat people like Jesus died for them, we must look to Him again and be activated through His spirit. Through the power of the Holy Spirit in us, we must be humble, kind, tenderhearted, forgiving, sacrificial, and a servant to all. When we truly love and know Christ, we become a new creation and become more like Jesus himself. This causes us to humbly and sacrificially love EVERYONE around us, as He did us.
But He also rose again
John 13:34-35 “I give you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, so you also must love each other. This is how everyone will know that you are my disciples, when you love each other.”