Love in Christ

Love in Christ is a phrase that believers often use at the end of a letter. Its use began the day Jesus spoke these words – “they will know you by your love for one another.” Our mutual love for Christ expands its arms through us . . . Jesus’ followers embrace one another with it.

I sense a deep emotional affection to people who’ve prayed with me through hard times. I’ve opened my soul to them and they haven’t betrayed my confidence. They’ve stood with me, cried with me, given me verses of scripture to encourage me, sent me messages of hope and assured me that God was with me. My heart is bound to theirs; they are dear to me.

I confess I don’t have equal affection for every follower of Christ. Some put me off – too overbearing, too nutty, too gossipy. For them I use the phrase “love in Christ” in a different way. The only way I can love them is “in Christ.” At times, I’ve wanted to turn my back on all difficult to love people. But, the love of Jesus urges me to love all, not only the lovable.

Peter found Paul hard to love. At least, that’s what I take from the scriptures that show them butting heads. Paul was tough, a straight shooter and Peter had a habit of compromising when he shouldn’t have. Paul also locked horns with Barnabas, a colleague and friend known for being an encourager.

Paul wrote a large chunk of the New Testament. But if I’d known him personally, I might not have had strong affection for him – too pushy, too my-way-or-the-highway.

Why should we struggle to love? Because it pleases our Lord. And, in the end, nothing else matters but pleasing Him. Sacrifice won’t do it. Hard work in His service won’t do it. Only obedience.

I’m called to apply Christ’s love to everyone, even those who don’t give me the warm fuzzies. And even those who don’t love me back or don’t get me.

Love in Christ, Rose

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About rosemccormickbrandon

An award winning personal experience writer, Rose McCormick Brandon is a frequent contributor to faith magazines, devotionals and compilations, including Chicken Soup for the Soul. Rose is the author of Promises of Home: Stories of Canada's British Home Children (2014). One Good Word Makes all the Difference (2013), He Loves Me Not, He Loves Me (2012) and Vanished: What Happened to My Son. She's a frequent contributor to The Testimony, Today's Pentecostal Evangel and other faith magazines in Canada, U.S. and Australia. Rose also writes about Canadian history, specifically the era of Child Immigration from Britain. Read her stories of child immigrants at: http://littleimmigrants.wordpress.com
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2 Responses to Love in Christ

  1. I really, really love this post. To love everyone equally is a great challenge. Some believers will encourage, serve and bless you tremendously. Others will rub you the wrong way. I truly try to keep the plank out of my eye and ignore the speck in other people’s. I love all Christians. There is an immediate connection and bond. I wouldn’t love them all to be my friend and, I’m sure, many would not want me as a friend. Thank you for the great insight.
    Tom 2 tall Cunningham

  2. I just love this honest post straight from the hip and your heart Rose – smile! This is a message we all need to hear – obedience produces love for EVERYONE not just our favourites!

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