Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. Romans 13:8
When I was in college, I rode the bus to campus every day. It seemed my schedule coincided with a group of girls who were always on the bus during the same time. They were a noisy bunch. I thought they were annoying, and I didn’t see how I could ever be friends with any of them.
Fast forward a year later, one of the girls was in my dorm, and her room was two doors from mine. We saw each other more often, not just on the bus but in the dorm. Away from her group of loud friends, she was a genuinely pleasant person. I found out we had something in common. We both love Jesus, and we became friends. Over thirty-five years later, we are still great friends.
Without really knowing her, I’d made a snap judgment. If I had hung on to my initial reaction, I would have missed out on a beautiful friendship.
Love is essential to unity in all relationships. Paul encourages us in Romans 13:8 to owe nothing to anyone except for love. Love is the key that unites and strengthens our relationships. If we desire to live in harmony, we need to let go of judging others too quickly.
Most of us are busy taking care of our families and juggling many responsibilities. It is relatively easy to make a snap judgment when we are tired or feel overwhelmed. A family comprises people with different personalities, and many families today are polarized because of politics, racial differences, or personal preferences. We make quick judgments because we feel superior and compare ourselves to others.
How do we get along and live with others in unity?
God created each person with distinct personalities and characteristics. Our Savior was crucified to unite us with himself so that we can love others with his love. If we remember, Jesus was completely patient with us at our worst. He died a gruesome death on the cross for our sins.
Through his sacrificial love, Jesus accepted and adopted us into his family. He doesn’t see us as different or less than. We have full access as his children. His sacrifice should humble us and compel us to see others as He sees us. Doing so will help us to be gentle, patient, and bear with one another in love.
Instead of clinging to our negative judgments of others, let’s allow the love of Jesus to guide our relationship with them. Let’s look for common grounds and ways to engage them.
I wonder how many friendships and opportunities I missed because I was too quick to judge a person? How is my snap judgment interfering with my relationships and causing disunity in my family?
What would it look like if we humbled ourselves and asked God to expose any critical spirit and pride in our hearts that stand in the way of loving others well? Our primary duty is not to criticize others but to love them with the love of Jesus. Remember the debt of love you owe Christ (Romans 13:8) and pay it forward!
Prayer: Lord, increase my love for my family, friends, and others. Help me remember your sacrifice for me. Please help me to see others through the eyes of Jesus. Forgive me for my judgment and dismissive attitude. Let your love rule my heart, and unity reign in my home and relationships.
In Your Life
In what ways can you be humble, gentle, and patiently bear with others in love
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Find more encouragement from Dr. Tope Keku at Hidden https://hiddentreasuresandriches.com/blog/
Temitope is a scientist, author, speaker, coach, mentor, and Bible teacher. Her passion is to help women walk through hard times in victory and help them encounter God while learning practical ways to discover hidden treasures in their trials. She is married with four grown children and lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Connect with her at www.HiddenTreasuresandRiches.com.
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