a new command I give you, that you do the dishes

There was man who was so deeply in love with his wife and he always told her, “honey, I love you so much I would die for you.” He constantly told her this, but eventually she became frustrated one evening as he told her this. She screamed, “if you love me so much, why don’t you do the freaking dishes!!!” Love is usually seen in actions done towards one another, and is best displayed by self sacrifice culminating in death — you can only go that far once though…

Jesus gave his disciples a new command: “a new command I give you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you…. by this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13.34-35). I believe that Jesus still wants us to live by this new command. My concern is whether or not we actually have love for one another. Do Protestants love Catholics? Do Catholics love Orthodox? Do Orthodox love Protestants? Do Protestants love other Protestants? et al. Do we have love for one another?

Surely, we want to have love for one another. However, I am ashamed to say that it is primarily a tolerance and not love. We tolerate one another, or even worse, we are indifferent. What does this “love” look like? What does it mean that we “love one another”? Well, it is quite simple actually, we love one another “even as Jesus loves us.” And greater love has none than this, that one lay down his life for his friends (John 15.13). And “we know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (1 John 3.16).

What does it mean to lay down our life? “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12.24). So, I have spoken much about dying for one another; but what about the wife who did not feel loved because her husband failed to do the dishes. We do die to ourselves when we do the menial tasks of life. We need to actively sacrifice our personal interest for the interest of others. Start small, maybe it means you literally need to go do the dishes.

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