The Missing Link
What qualities and characteristics do we look for in other people? Anger or hatred or animosity? Gossipers and troublemakers and bullies? No. None of these! Not many people want to be around people with those characteristics. They have a tendency to hurt us and damage our Kingdom work. And, truthfully, individuals with these characteristics are pretty bad advertisement for the Kingdom! We look for special values in others like love, peace, joy, and the ability to forgive. Interestingly enough, those are some of the same characteristics that develop in us with growth in the Lord. Those are some of the very attributes of God Himself. They are the (almost) forgotten values that Christians should use as a standard behavior of life. In fact, 1 John 4:16-21 teaches us that God is love.
The missing link is a Christian love that is willing to look beyond the sins and failures of others and love them with the same love of Christ – the same love that caused Him to come and proclaim salvation, the same love that led Him to the cross. The same love that will move Him to return for you. Love is the missing link in life.
Love is the greatest quality of human life. Love is the one ingredient that can revolutionize society. Love is the attitude that a person comes to have toward others after establishing a living relationship with Christ. We need to love each other – without fail and without hesitation. Because Christ has first loved us, we should love others. And, since He has never withheld His love from us we should withhold our love from others. 1 Corinthians 13:8 tells us that “Love never fails”. Note the word “never”. God loves us. No matter what we do to Him or to His people – no matter how badly we hurt Him. He loves us. Why? Because love never fails.
Mark Twain is credited with having said “Work like you don’t need the money. Dance like no one is watching. And love like you’ve never been hurt.” In the Gospel of John Jesus said “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35). It is not agreeing to a doctrinal position, attending a certain church, or even the way that we pray that proves that we are Christian; it is a genuine care for people and a genuine love for people. Love is the solution to the problem. If your love for others is not expanding then you are not growing as a Christian.