I’m giving you a new commandment, and it’s this: love one another! Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how everybody will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for each other. (13:34-35)
Christians are known by their sacrificial, inconvenient love. Nothing is more of a calling card than love. Not going to church. Not how one votes. Not social policy one supports or opposes. Not one’s moral code. Not whether one takes or refuses that drink offered at a dinner party. Not one’s language. Not bumper stickers or symbols on the back of a car. Not biblical knowledge. Not leadership roles in a church. Not community service. Not parenting styles or the behavior of one’s children. Not the percentage of money given away to others. Christians are known by the degree they allow themselves to serve others at their own expense, their willingness to treat people with kindness and gentleness when they deserve much less, the degree to which we make life not about us but about others.
“They will know we are Christians by our love.” We have sung this since we were children, but we need these regular reminders, don’t we?