The mission of a Christian is very simple in theory, but more difficult in practice. According to the bible, our mission is twofold; to love people, and to teach people to love.
“This is my commandment, love one another as I have loved you…” John 15:12
“Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20
This can be tough because the world doesn’t quite see love the same way Christians see it. If we are going to show the world what it means to truly love, we need to understand what it means.
What Is Love?
I couldn’t even type this heading out without humming that classic nineties’ song in my head. The question “What is Love” is embedded into our being, into our culture, and it’s been around for a long time. From science, to music, to Saturday Night Live, everyone talks about love. Everyone wants to know what love is, and WE have access to the handbook on how to love. Let’s take a closer look at exactly what love is, and how we can teach others what it means to love.
In 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, Paul describes love this way. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
When Jesus said that we are to love the way HE loves, THIS verse is what He meant. Jesus showed every single one of these attributes of love when he was on earth, and most people would agree that the love described here is indeed loving. So, what makes THIS love different?
There are several similarities between this definition of love and the conventional definition that is promoted by this modern world. The main difference is that in 1 Corinthians, Paul makes it clear that there is a definite evil, and an absolute truth. Much of the world believes that while there may be universal sins, morality itself is relative and subjective. It is the ability to love in truth that makes this true love.
To this point, Paul says again in Ephesians 4:15 that “speaking in truth AND love, we will grow to become, in every respect, the mature body of him who is the head, that is Christ.”
It is this Truth that, when taught, enables us to Love.
What Is Truth?
Jesus says in John 8:31 that “If you abide in my Word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.” Later in John 10:35 He says that the Word of God is Truth. Finally, in John 14:6 he says that He Himself is the Truth.
The Truth, simply put, is that which is consistent with the mind and character of God, which is expressed in His Word. Jesus admits that He, and every bit of love He shared, was rooted in the Living Word of God.
– The Christian Mission –
To Love Like Jesus!
To follow Jesus’s commandment in John 15:12 and love the way He loved, we must live the way He lived, in Truth! When we live in accordance with God’s word, this allows us to love others the same way that Jesus loves.
To Teach Others!
To follow Jesus’s instruction In Matthew 28:19-22 is just a matter of obedience and bravery. It can be difficult to speak in truth and love to someone who does not believe that truth. It can be hard for them to even perceive your efforts as loving. The world we live in so often promotes the idea that “true love” is accepting and approving of everything about someone’s life, when we know that love does not celebrate evil, but rejoices in truth.
I encourage you to carry on in truth and in love. It is not only our Mission as a Christian, but it truly is also our purpose as humans to do so. Show this true love to everyone, remind the world of its purpose! We were designed for true love. While people may not always receive the truth, it is still our mission to share it.