"Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love." Ephesians 4:2 (NLT). That phrase "because of your love" is jumping off the page for me this morning. Because of your love....be humble. Because of your love...be gentle. Because of your love...be patient with each other. Because of your love...make allowance for each other's faults. None of those expectations are easy, are they? Last week and the beginning of this week I explored the qualities that we are expected to have in our individual walk with Christ - these were things that we worked into our lives on our own with God. But this list is specifically how we interact as a body of believers and it is fueled by our love. Remember love was the last quality listed in 2 Peter 1:7 that we are to add to our faith? Do you see how our personal growth with God has a direct impact on our collective growth as a body of believers? When we are adding love to our faith, it will fuel our passion to the body as a whole.
Think about it for a moment. The moment we add love to our faith we begin to look outside ourselves, because that is what love does. Love doesn't mean to think only of ourselves; love requires us to consider the people around us. That in and of itself builds humility because love makes us think of others. Love will treat people the way we would want to be treated since we are thinking of others. That shows us how love helps us to be gentle. Love will remember that the person your are interacting with is human and imperfect just like you, which will in turn help you to be patient with them and make allowance for their faults. Do you see how it is impossible to sustain these healthy interactions without love? When we add love to our faith, we are given the ability to interact with one another the way God intended. If you struggle adding love to your faith, remember what you believe. The very fact that we are saved through Jesus was the greatest act of love! We were created because God loves us! Meditate on His outrageous love for us and it will help grow love to your faith.
Are you fueled by love?