"And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but I have not love, I am nothing." -1 Corinthians 13:2
I have seen a common theme lately in which everyone hates everyone. You go somewhere and you talk to someone, and all you hear is negativity about others. This guy has had too many girlfriends, this chick needs to stop changing her hair, this guy is a jerk, this chick never talks to anyone, and the list goes on and on. Then you go on the internet and you see tweets, statuses, and pictures about everyone hating everyone. Now I understand that lot of it is in jest and that not everyone hates everyone, but it has come to my attention that there are more and more people claiming to be Christians, and less and less people actually loving others. How can we be Christians if we cannot even follow the first and second commandments: To love God, and to love others? (Matthew 22:36-40)
Whenever we worship but we don't have love in our hearts, we aren't truly worshiping. Whenever we serve God without love in our hearts, we aren't truly serving. Whenever we give without love in our hearts, we aren't truly giving. Matthew 5:36-40 addresses this when in the first two verses it says, "So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift at the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, then come and offer your gift." Here Jesus is informing us that before giving anything to God, we need to make sure that we have done everything we could to right our wrongs, and lovingly correct misunderstandings, with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our relationships with our fellow Christians is important, and definitely necessary for our walk towards heaven. How would we get there without encouragement from those who love us? Our relationships with those around us are important, and instead of finding everything wrong with a person just because you don't like the way they speak, or the fact that they don't read much, or the fact that they don't like all the same movies you do, we should love everyone and set our differences aside. After all, do those things really matter, anyway?
How's your love life? Do you have issues with your brother/sister in Christ that could easily be resolved by just telling them about it (lovingly, of course)? Is there something in your life that you need to fix? Do that today. It's important that we do these things, because as we see in 1 Corinthians 13:2, if we have not love, we have nothing. "Nothing" includes heaven. "Nothing" includes God. "Nothing" includes friends or family. We have nothing. But when we have love, we have something. Not only do we have something, but we have everything. Today I would like to (in the least sappy way possible) encourage you all to love more. To make friends, not enemies, and to love everyone, not just the ones who are convenient to love.