That was the comment I received from my wife this morning as we were out enjoying a nice Christmas day walk, relishing the sunshine and warmth of 73°. Sorry, I couldn’t resist…
I had asked her if she had given any thought yet to 2019, and if there was anything she had hopes for in the coming year. True to her nature as the kindest, most gentle person I’ve ever known, she just wants people to treat one another with kindness.
As she pointed out to me, there is so much anger, malice, and evil in this world today that Christians can’t just talk about love any longer, but must demonstrate love for one another.
Listening to her this morning, I was reminded of a preacher by the name of Paul who gave us an entire chapter on the importance of love. You can find this amazing teaching in 1st Corinthians, chapter 13.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1st Corinthians 13:1-7 ESV
Understanding that Paul was given great faith and power, whereby he did many great miracles, only serves to heighten the importance of his teaching about love.
You see, Paul the Apostle understood that the foundation of the Church was love. Going back to John 3:16, we know that to be true because of these words that Jesus spoke.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”.
Jesus came because of love, served God and man in love, and ultimately gave his life out of love for you and I. Jesus is the head of the Church, and he built, and continues to build his Church on love.
To treat people with respect, to love them as Jesus does, or as my sweet wife would say “just be nice”, requires us to walk humbly before the Lord. It requires us to live our lives in daily submission to Him who gave his best for us.
I hope that going forward all of us will see the importance of being nice, treating one another with respect, and living our lives in a manner that brings honor to our God.