Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Brotherly Love~ A Spiritual Article by Heather Young

What is love? Is it a feeling? An emotion? How much you enjoy eating? Or is love something more? Is it an interaction you see happen between two people? How self-conscious you feel in front of that certain someone? Or is love something even more? Doesn’t love mean something more than all of these things? The answer is yes. Love means WAY more than what we sometimes think it does. The Bible shows that love is the most important thing you can have! Let’s dive deeper and see what else the Bible has to say about this subject.

“‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  This is the first commandment.  And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no greater commandment than these.” Mark 12:30-31

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:43-44

Many times in the Bible, there is a statement saying “Love your neighbor,” or something similar to that. If the Bible says that loving your neighbor as yourself is one of the two greatest commandments, don’t you think we ought to? In Matthew 5:43-44 Jesus commands us to love our enemies, bless those who curse us, do good to those who hate us, and pray for those who persecute us.  This can be an extremely difficult thing to do. Obeying this command means not only biting your tongue to keep from saying that one thing to a snob in your class, but saying something kind instead.  It also means praying that they will have a change in heart, maybe even giving gifts to them and helping them out. No one is perfect. Everyone slips up at times, but if we try to love our neighbor, it can make a huge difference in someone’s life, even if it doesn’t seem like it.

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” John 15:12-13

            This command may even be easier to follow than the previous one.  I think it is easier to give your life for a friend than to be kind to an enemy, and that it is much easier to love a friend than an enemy.

“We know that we have passed form death to life, because we love the brethren.  He who does not love his brother abides in death.  Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.  By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.  And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3:14-16, 18

Just telling someone, “You’re my friend,” or “I love you,” isn’t enough. 1 John 3:18 says that we should love “in deed and in truth.”  Notice how at the beginning of verse 18 it says “My little children.”  This means that the writer must be trying to teach us something.  He is trying to teach us how to love.

“Let love be without hypocrisy.  Abhor what is evil.  Cling to what is good.  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, on honor giving preference to one another.” Romans 12:9-10

            True love.  What do you first think of when you hear those words? Probably a relationship between two people who would do anything for one another.  Kind of like a dating relationship.  But what Romans 12:9-10 is talking about is brotherly love. Love between friends. Love that puts the other person first.  A selfless love; even toward your enemies. An honorable love without hypocrisy. True brotherly love.

            In today’s secular culture many teens are involved, or being revolved around, with relationships.  It is so easy to get caught up in worldly desires and lusts.  In these tough times, go to the Bible! Remember these verses, and get caught up in godly love. Brotherly love.

“Let brotherly love continue.” Hebrews 13:1

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