“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.” (1 John 4:11-12 ESV).
Do you think your friendships are more than a fun way to spend time with people? Friends certainly make life more meaningful, but what if the way you love your people is directly tied to revealing God in this world?
I’ve been told many times that I am an ambassador of Christ, a representative of the faith. This title is lofty and often overwhelming. How can I truly be a symbol of the gospel every second of the day? Yet, one thing I do know is I am capable of is loving the community God has placed in my path.
John, the disciple who actually walked with Love Himself, says no one has ever seen God. He is only seen through the way we love one another. By loving people, God comes and abides in us and perfects His love in us. And in his gospel, John clearly states that all people will know we are from God by the way we love one another (John 13:34-35 ESV).
The task of being an ambassador of Christ just became a whole lot easier to swallow. We can love people. That’s tangible. That’s real. That’s how God is going to be glorified through us.
My husband and I spent the last two years building friendships with our neighbors. We are at the point in our relationship where we get each other’s mail when we are out of town and have coffee once a month together. One late evening, my husband and I were brushing our teeth and turning off the lights when I got a phone call. My neighbor was crying in panic because her internet was down and she had a grad school project due at midnight. Her eight-year-old-daughter needed a babysitter while she ran somewhere to find Wi-Fi. Well, my husband just happens to be a tech guru and offered to assess the situation for her. He came back fifteen minutes later and reported that her internet had been fixed.
The next day, our neighbor saw me outside her window walking the dog. She ran out her door and thanked my husband and me; not just for fixing the Wi-Fi, but for being available and willing to help. She called us angels and hurried off.
I think our neighbor saw God that day. Our simple friendship, our simple acts of kindness and love, are all ways we try to represent the gospel to her and her family. There was no sash that read “God’s #1 Ambassador” or a cross outside our door. Instead, we chose the route of relationships to speak capital ‘L’ love to our neighbors.
No one has ever seen God…
…but they see Him in you and the way you do friendship.