I walked into the hotel lobby, and a sea of lime-green t-shirts met me. I panned the crowd, trying to figure out who the group was.
People dressed in almost blinding neon shirts stood in clusters, laughing. A few seated on sofas were deep in conversation, and many were in a check-in line. I walked to the shortest line to get my room key when a shout calling someone’s name interrupted my train of thought. I turned to see two people embrace. Based on their words, they hadn’t seen each other in a year. The back of the green shirt read, Campbell Family Reunion.
Those who hadn’t attended reunions in a few years, and those who hadn’t seen each other since the last reunion, knew they belonged. Green shirts and their love for each other identified the family.
Jesus gave His disciples a new commandment: “love one another.” He says love will be their identifying mark. They will be distinctively different from others when they show love for each other.
Jesus wasn’t referring to romantic or friendship love, but unconditional love. Love marked by kindness when you are hurt—or by giving up a prime parking spot to someone else. It’s self-control when you feel like responding in anger. Sometimes, love shows itself in patience when you’re in a hurry, but someone else isn’t. It’s the unnatural expression of character Paul says is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
In today’s culture of hurry and get ahead, love that puts others ahead of self stands out. We have seven days of opportunities in our family, neighborhood, school, and workplace to be distinctively different.
Think about your opportunities to show unusual love. You won’t have to wear a lime-green t-shirt, but people will notice.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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