In Spite of Our Differences

John 13:34-35 (NIV®) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

If we are believers in Jesus, we have a directive from our Lord Himself to learn to love one another. In this brief passage, He tells us to “love one another” three times and says we are to do it “as I have loved you.” It is not just a suggestion; it is a “command,” because our love for one another will identify us as His disciples. That means you and I need to learn to subjugate our differences and personal preferences to the authority of Jesus so that we can accept and feel genuine affection for one another. My carnal nature wants to elevate those differences and preferences and convince me that the only people worthy of my affection are people who are just like me. The only way to overcome that sinful thinking is to focus on how much Jesus loves us and our responsibility as His followers to demonstrate His love to others. And when we do learn to love others in spite of our differences, it brings great freedom and joy to our lives and exponentially increases our gospel witness.


Jesus’ obedience to go to the cross for our sin is a living demonstration of what it means to love God and love one another. Paul prayed that the Ephesians would be able “to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ” (Eph. 3:18). Does your love for others honor Jesus by accurately reflecting His love for you?


Heavenly Father, thank You for showing us Your love by giving us Jesus. My heart is overwhelmed with the greatness of Your commands and the difference they make in my life. Help me to walk in obedience so that I may demonstrate what it means to be Your disciple. Help me to love all people, and to never grow weary of doing good. Praise to Your name forever and ever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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