A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35
"Thanks, Jesus, but that's not for me. Loving others... I don't really have time. Frankly, I don't want to take the risk. To be honest, I don't really care about others. And, if you want, I've got a few more excuses. Anything to keep me from having to put myself out there."
If this is you, then here are a few suggestions on how NOT to grow close with other Christ followers:
- DO NOT spend time with other church members outside of church. You already see them an hour or so a week. Who really wants more close friends? You don’t need anyone. You’re fine all by yourself. Who really wants to get to know anyone else better?
- DO NOT seek out and meet the needs of church members. Like we said, you are fine by yourself. They should be just fine by themselves too. Why would you want to burden yourself with someone else’s problems? You can just say you love them—and smile or even put an arm around them—but don’t actually do anything about it.
- DO NOT let anyone know the real you. You don’t even like the real you sometimes, what makes you think they will? And if they know the real you, well, that might be... humbling. And you don’t want that. Keep to yourself. Don’t let anyone in. It’s safer for everyone that way.
- DO NOT encourage others. We don’t wanna throw praise around. We don’t want folks to have any reason for vanity. No, don’t encourage them even if they seem down or discouraged. You might get trapped into truly caring for them.
- DO NOT show any excitement about God’s work in your life or anyone else’s. If you talk like that, then people might talk about you too. You don’t want people to think God really moves in your lives, do you? They might think you are weird.
- DO NOT get connected or volunteer for anything. Just smile and nod when someone asks, but walk right by the sign up. Just tell them you’ll pray about it. Of course, you really won't.
- DO NOT say anything good to, or about, anyone. If you absolutely want to make sure to keep others far away, then let them have it. Gossip. Slander. Talk ugly. Be mean. Whatever it takes. If none of the previous suggestions work, then this one should for sure.
The above suggestions are what NOT to do. They are meant in jest. Yet they contain truth.
Trusting that you really DO want to grow close in your love for others, what do you suggest?
Leave a comment below including your creative ideas on growing close through loving others.