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Love Breaks Down Barriers

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.

John 13:34-35

The month of November shifts our hearts and minds to the upcoming holiday season. Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and festive events will beckon us to gather with friends and family members. Even though these occasions should add joy to our lives, sometimes that’s not the case. Problems with people and tensions in relationships can actually be exacerbated by all of the celebrating and close proximity.

What can be done to improve potential difficulties with others during what ought to be delightful times? Jesus words above put things in perspective: love. Love breaks down barriers and build stronger bonds. Here’s a story from an upcoming Sonkist Ministries’ book entitled I Choose Love! that may help explain this concept more clearly:

Years ago, we had a wonderful hairstylist who took care of everyone in our family. In fact, “Miss Linda” gave our oldest son his first haircut. Both Ryan and Jared liked to see her, which made our visits to her very enjoyable. One afternoon, Ryan and I had an appointment, but Linda was running a little behind with other clients. After Linda put the finishing touches on her hairstyle, an elderly lady stood up and gave Linda a big hug before she left. Ryan, with his six-year-old curiosity, leaned over to me and whispered, “Mom, is that Miss Linda’s mother?”

Before replying, I looked at Ryan to see if he was serious. The expression of genuine interest on his face told me he was. I felt tears welling up, so I blinked and swallowed before answering, “No, buddy, that lady is just one of Linda’s clients.”

The reason I was overcome with emotion is that our friend, Linda, is African-American, and her elderly client was Caucasian. Ryan hadn’t noticed any differences in ethnicity, though. He thought they were family simply based on the loving way they interacted.

That scene has stayed with me all of these years because it is a powerful example of what love should be all about. Perfect love doesn’t have barriers; instead it creates bonds. The Lord’s kind of love is never about differences but rather about devotion at the deepest level. For me, this is one of the good memories about perfect love I will always cherish-the love that Ryan experienced watching those two women hug each other.

You probably have examples of when you’ve experienced this type of love too. What story would you tell about when you observed God’s love in action? Do you have your own Good Samaritan story-a time when you reached out to help someone, or maybe someone reached out to you? Who are the individuals in your life who interact with you in loving ways?

There will always be challenges when it comes to interacting with others while we are this side of Heaven, but by trying to love them the Lord’s way, we’ll be on the right path to not only getting along better but also showing everyone around us what it really means to be members of God’s family.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from all of us at Sonkist Ministries!


Thought of the Month

Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
I John 3:18