Christian Living COVID-19 Holy Living Life Issues Living for Christ Love Obedience

Christian Love in Close Quarters

30 August 2020
3 minutes to read

Like it or not, we tend to be creatures of habit. We enjoy order and routine. So what happens when a global pandemic turns our lives upside down? How do we react when lockdown, furlough and homeschool disrupt our day-to-day activities? Whether we’ve been at home with family members, living alone or sharing with a flatmate, it’s likely there has been a time (or several!) when our patience has been put to the test. When we find ourselves under pressure or in uncertain times it’s easy for us to lose sight of our responsibility to show the fruit of the Spirit including love, patience and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)

Whatever the role we have in our homes, and no matter that age of the people under one roof, the principles are the same – just as ‘the LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love’ towards us, we too should be ‘quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger’.

There is no doubt about Jesus’ immediate love for his disciples, but as a group of people coming from various backgrounds it wasn’t all plain sailing – even for the fishermen! The Bible records a number of occasions where the twelve found themselves caught up in an argument. Jesus’ response to these situations is insightful and helpful for us today. We don’t read of John being irked by Luke’s whistling as they walked along or Andrew complaining about the way Matthew folded the fishing nets but we do know that they had squabbles about who was the greatest (Matt. 18:1-4; Mark 9:33-37, 9:46-48, 22:24-27).

Jesus taught the disciples that being great was less about them and more about others: it was about being ‘last of all and servant of all.‘ (Mark 9:35) As Christians the same applies to us and Paul reminds us that we should ‘Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honour‘ (Rom. 12:10)

When we find ourselves under pressure or in uncertain times it’s easy for us to lose sight of our responsibility to show the fruit of the Spirit including love, patience and self-control.

Jesus further emphasised his message to the disciples about their attitude by using the example of a young child: they were to be childlike in their humility and should treat others with the care that a child requires.

Whatever the role we have in our homes, and no matter that age of the people under one roof, the principles are the same – just as ‘the LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love’ towards us (Ps. 145:8), we too should be ‘quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger’ (Jam. 1:19). 

With some restrictions easing and our ‘bubbles’ expanding, the challenge to be genuine in our love (Rom. 12:9) now extends to more people around us. Perhaps we’ve discovered some things about ourselves we would do well to keep locked down but as we prepare to dress for going out in public again, let us put on

compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience bearing with one another… forgiving each other as the Lord has forgiven you… And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.’ (Col. 3:12-14)


Claire Andrews, The Church of God Belfast

1 Comment

  • Avatar
    Reply
    Gilbert Grierson
    2 September 2020 at 10:23

    There are seven strings to that “guitar” in Col 3: 12-14. Easy to count and hard to play- but very very necessary. Thanks for your article Claire.

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