I was pondering John 15:12 last night as I was reading more of “Worship Matters”, and I got this distinct sense that the North American Christian (yes, including me) has a serious deficiency here.

A common argument is that while we must love someone, we don’t have to be friends with them. If you believe that, I want to cast it away as an absolute falsehood right away. The verse says “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.” We are quick to forget that last part. “…as I have loved you.” How did Jesus love us? We have to know that before we can even begin to understand how we are to love others.

I won’t go into the specifics of what Jesus did for us because of His love, because you can already generate your own examples. They key here is to remember that we can’t love God and not love our brothers and sisters at the same time. That would be lying. 1 John 4:20 tells us this. So when we consider our relationships with the people we know, we can already see how short we fall in the area of love. What about our enemies? We are to love them too, and in a very real and transparent way. So I want you to think about that for as long as it takes. Do you love the worst person on the planet enough to die for him/her? Enough to be crucified in their place? Willingly? Until we can truthfully answer ‘yes’ to that question, we have not demonstrated the love of Christ that has been commanded. That is the exact love that He showed, and we do it a disservice when we pretend that we can love while keeping an arm’s distance from those we dislike.

Take this to heart in your worship team. Do you love them enough?