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Summary: Your personality must not stop you from loving other Christians.
The heart of a person is who that person is (Proverbs 4:23). From the time someone repents of sins, and puts faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, God the Holy Spirit begins to re-create and transform that individual. A spiritual desire and disposition to obey and please God comes.
We as leaders know that the new believer becomes a new person with a new knowledge and understanding. Key among what the new believer must be guided to understand is, to live a life of obedience and holiness. Church Leader Pearls contends, probably we do not stress this enough; just as some feel awkward about mentioning sin. So neglect of biblical commands and godly conduct is not criticised as and when it should be.
It is important that we also stress to new followers of Christ that they should live a changed lifestyle (2 Cor 5:17). The new believers and perhaps long standing Christians must be reminded that while the Holy Spirit will alert us when we fall back to old, ungodly ways, we ourselves, ought to co-operate with the Holy Spirit in resisting the old nature.
At the risk of repeating ourselves, we must regularly preach and teach, that there must be a visible, godly difference between the person before becoming a Christian, and the person now. In this, the believer can rely on the scriptures and the direction of God through the Holy Spirit, to influence and shape her or his responses and behaviours as Christians on this earth (Matt 6:10).
Against this background, Jesus commanded his followers to love one another (John 13:34). He instructed believers to make a deliberate, considered choice to love those who serve God and follow Christ; our brothers and sisters in the Lord.
Like you, Church Leader Pearls is aware that every person in the congregation is at a different level and stage of spiritual growth. A person’s nature and personality might still be in the process of change. Someone might be self-centred, have a sense of superiority, or be overly proud or aloof. These traits might restrain the individual from demonstrating love and kindness and respect to a fellow believer. Personality must not stop a Christian from loving other Christians; an excuse and exoneration often offered by false teachers. These are the kinds of challenges and false teachings churches face. In this, the Holy Spirit will help to change the heart.
We know, that in paying the price to obey the commandment, and to love brothers and sisters in the Lord, the believer matures and changes to Christlikeness (Eph 4:13; 1 Cor 11:1). However gently it is done, the people in the pews must be reminded that loving one another is God’s desire and requirement for all who follow his Son.
Church Leader Pearls affirms with all church leaders that loving one another is not just about ethical principles and sound morality. It is what God wants. “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another”. God wants us to behave as his children (1 John 3:1), and the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 13:35).
This is the love law of the family of God; and God enables us to keep this commandment. God sheds his love abroad in our heart (Rom 5:5), and helps us to put love into practise. Loving one another is firstly a command and a Christian must make the choice to obey the command.