THE SERVANT GENERAL
LOVING ONE ANOTHER
FAITH AND FRATERNAL LOVE
Today’s reading: 1 John 3:18-24
As God’s children and Jesus’ disciples, we are
to obey God. We are to obey God’s commandments. “And
his commandment is this: we should believe in the name of
his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another just as he commanded
us.” (1 Jn 3:23).
makes us Christians? We become Christians when we believe
in the name of Jesus, the Son of God. This is when we put
our faith in Jesus, whom we look to as Savior and Lord. This
is basic. But what is also basic, what is part and parcel
of our faith, is loving one another. We love and look to not
only Jesus, but we love and look to each other.
it is easy enough to love Jesus, because he is so lovable
and perfect. But the challenge is to love our brethren, who
are not so lovable, who are so imperfect. I suppose this is
one reason why God has to command us to love one another.
It does not come naturally. It is not easy. In fact, due to
our fallen flesh, we are prone to strife, conflict and division.
Faith in Jesus and love for brethren go together. If we say
we love God, but hate our brother, then we lie. If we do not
obey God’s command to love one another, then we cannot
remain in Jesus. “Those who keep his commandments remain
in him, and he in them” (1 Jn 3:24a). By not loving
one another, we in effect reject Jesus who has commanded us
the other hand, obeying God’s command to love one another
is key to prayers answered, blessings and empowerment. We
will “receive from him whatever we ask” (1 Jn
3:22a). Why? Because we are God’s beloved children whom
He wants to bless, on whom He wants to pour out His goodness.
If we are obedient children, if we live our lives according
to His ways, then we are pleasing to the Father. As such,
God has no reason not to bless us abundantly. We can receive
whatever we ask “because we keep his commandments and
do what pleases him.” (1 Jn 3:22b).
Now none of us will object to what has been said. We all will
give our assent to the rightness of loving one another. But
the challenge is to actually do what we say we will do. We
do not just assent verbally, but we act in love. “Children,
let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.”
(1 Jn 3:18).
do we love in deed and truth?
not only do no wrong to our brethren, but we harbor no ill
will towards them in our hearts.
sincerely desire only what is good for our brethren, and
rejoice in their blessings. We speak of our brethren in
ways that are positive and uplifting. This is not to be
blind to their shortcomings and weaknesses, but to decide
to focus on the positives rather than the negatives.
We correct our brethren when there is a need to do so, but
always with love and respect.
encourage our brethren, especially during difficult times.
may disagree but never be disagreeable. We handle conflicts
according to the ways of the Lord and our community, always
preserving peace and unity.
stand ready to assist our brethren with our resources, within
the structures of community life.
we do the above, and even more, then “this is how
we shall know that we belong to the truth and reassure our
hearts before him” (1 Jn 3:19).