According to Francis Schaeffer, love is the mark of the Christian. He wrote: “Not just a feeling of love or an acknowledgment of love, rather a demonstration of love. It is the litmus test Jesus gave to the world as to whether we really reflect Him. Upon His authority He gives the world the right to judge whether you and I are Christians on the basis of our observable love toward all. That’s pretty frightening.”
Schaeffer then added that the world cares little for doctrine. The one thing that will arrest the attention of a world that has disavowed the very idea of truth is: “The love that true Christians show for each other and not just for their own party.”
Jim White says that during this moment in history, we can either be a shining light to the world—another example of how the Christian faith creates radical community even in the midst of honest disagreement—or we can allow our faith to be shoved aside in the name of politics and, as a result, have unloving attitudes and words cause a stench that the world can smell and destroy our witness before a watching world.
And then White asks: “Why are so many Christians behaving so badly, in ways that are no better than those who are not Christians or even worse? We don’t know how to disagree with someone agreeably. We don’t try to empathize with others, enter into understanding, or put love ahead of opinions.
Whether in blogs or chat rooms, on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, we spew out caustic, mean-spirited words, actions and attitudes as if they are not reprehensible before heaven. But they are. According to Jesus, this is likened to second-degree murder (Matthew 5:21-22).
The one thing we must not do as followers of Christ is to give ourselves over to partisan bickering in such a way that we put party before faith. We are not primarily Republicans or Democrats. We are first and foremost followers of Christ. And as followers of Christ, we should bear the mark of our Savior. And the mark of the Christian is love.”
In this tumultuous time in our nation—how are you and I doing in distinctively demonstrating the love of Jesus to others—especially those with whom we disagree? The Lord is watching.