John 15:12, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."
John 13:34, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another."
In his book, The Four Loves, C.S. Lewis wrote, "To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to keep it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. The only place outside heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers . . . of love is hell."
To love is to take risks. Love sometimes hurts, and it can be hard work. Great love comes at a premium. “Love like Jesus loves” sounds lovely until it gets real. It got Jesus killed. He loved us so much that He died for us. To love like Jesus will hurt. It will put us in positions we would choose to avoid, call our behaviors and actions into question, and cause us to challenge the brokenness in each other. But this is how everyone will know that we are His disciples: if we love each other just as He loved us.
If loving your friend, family member, or associate is difficult, you are in good company. Today go that extra mile. Say that kind word when you want to be rude; make a generous gesture when you want to put someone in their place.
Father, may I not forget that You are present even when I can't see You. Help me to respond as You would. Help me to not give up, to not lose faith. Amen.