by Thando Malaza
The Bible says we are to love one another. Sounds good, but can we do it? How do we make love a dominating characteristic of our lives? What does the Bible say about love and respect?
Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour.
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
1 Peter 3:8-9
Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called—that you might inherit a blessing.
We know that respect and honour are important to God because of the way they are talked about in the Bible, including in Romans 13:1-7. Paul reminds us in this passage that all authority comes from God, so when we respect people in authority it’s is a way of showing respect to God. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another” (John 13:34). The good news is we must love each other just as much as God loves us which is unconditional. If we are filled with God’s love, we can do and see and understand things that we could not otherwise do or see or understand. Filled with his love we can endure pain, quell and fear. We can forgive freely, avoid contention, renew strength, and bless and help others in ways surprising even to us.