Many Christians have foregone traditional denominations (e.g. Pentecostal, Baptist, Presbyterian, Adventist) in favor of the simple mantra Love God. Love Others, and that mantra really is the perfect way to think about our role in society as Christians. Think about it: the two commandments Jesus spoke of during His time on Earth were “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind,” and “Love your neighbor the way you love yourself” (you can read it here: Matthew 22: 37-40)
There’s just one problem that we tend to come up against when trying to live the Love God. Love Others. mantra to the fullest–we really don’t know what love is anymore. I mean, look at the state of the world. Look at all the unrest overseas, the threats of war. Look at #BlackLivesMatter and the threats against the human rights of an entire race of people living in arguably the most “liberated” country in the world. Love has become abstract. We don’t know how to love each other, so it’s no wonder that we feel a disconnect between saying that we’re Christians and then actually living like Christians; we have no idea what that’s supposed to look like.
But there is hope.
Love becomes less abstract when we substitute it for another word: Service. We all know what it means to servesomeone. To put someone else’s needs before our own. To be at someone’s beck and call. We are actually called to show love to each other by serving each other (see Galatians 5:13-14). Service is an act of love.
If you’re like me and need a concrete way to think about how to show Christian love to others, why not try this mantra instead: Serve God. Serve others. Thinking about love as service is helping me to figure out how to live my Christianity vs. just doing it (i.e. attending church service). It may help you too!