“Love One Another”
LOVE is easy to talk about but difficult to practice. Yet the practicing of it is what God expects from Christians.
It is written at 1 John 3:23: “This is his commandment, that we have faith in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and be loving one another, just as he gave us commandment.” The commandment is regarding the exercising of love, actually showing it by our actions and speech.
It does no good for a Christian to talk about the need to show love and to quote Jesus’ commandment, “Love one another just as I have loved you,” if he fails to exercise it. He must be conscious of it at all times, always analyzing his actions and intended actions to see whether they violate the principle Jesus gave of loving one another.—John 15:12.
This means a person must put himself in the position of his Christian brother and look at his own actions as they would appear in that person’s eyes. The exercising of love requires a sensitive regard for the interests and welfare of others.
The Scriptural command does not mean that love is to be shown only to those who are close to a person, but it means that love is to be exercised toward all of Jehovah’s dedicated servants.
The big assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses in New York this summer will put each Christian who attends it to a test. It will be a test of his love. His conduct among his brothers and the respect he shows for their interests will reveal whether he is a person who talks about love and does not practice it or one who talks about it and does practice it.
The great crowds that will be gathered there may result in the congesting of corridors. If that happens, would it be showing love to shove and push your way through? Would it be showing love to stop and visit in the middle of a corridor or in a manner that obstructs the free passage of others? At such assemblies, when there are large crowds, it is necessary for each delegate to be considerate and patient.
When something is wanted at the checkroom, at a literature counter, at the rooming department or at any department, a person would be showing no love by crowding ahead of others who were there before him. No matter how many people are in line, the Christian who exercises love will show respect for the rights of his brothers ahead of him by patiently waiting his turn. He must not act as if he thinks he is better than his brothers and should not have to wait.
Remember the advice the apostle Paul gave about “doing nothing out of contentiousness or out of egotism, but with lowliness of mind considering that the others are superior to you, keeping an eye, not in personal interest upon just your own matters, but also in personal interest upon those of the others.” (Phil. 2:3, 4) If you do this, then you will be showing love for one another.
Another way a delegate will show whether he exercises love is during the sessions. When a speaker is on the platform giving Scriptural instruction, admonition and counsel, is that the time to be walking around the corridors and assembly grounds? Is that the time to talk with one another? Would that be showing respect for the speaker or consideration for others who want to listen?
What about when a session is drawing to a close? Is it showing love to get up and walk out before the last speaker has finished or before the closing prayer in the evening? Unless a person is compelled to leave because of sickness, age or urgent duties, it cannot be said that he is showing love for his brothers whom he disturbs or for the speaker whom he insults by walking out.
Love is not a quality that is exercised only when a person is rested, in a good mood and among a few people. It is something that must be shown at all times, under all circumstances. The exercising of it requires a conscious effort on the part of the dedicated Christian. This is especially so at a large assembly. Then it takes a special effort to be kind, considerate and patient.
Let all who plan on attending the New York assembly remember that it will be a special test of whether they are obeying Jesus’ command to “love one another.”
Finally, all of you be like-minded, showing fellow feeling, exercising brotherly love, tenderly affectionate, humble in mind, not paying back injury for injury.—1 Pet. 3:8, 9.