By Your Love

By Your Love

This past week, Tanner brought a great message at The Break about the love we are called to in 1 Corinthians 13. Afterward, I sat with a delightful group of freshman girls as we processed through our discussion questions. By your love – it’s an important phrase.

One of the questions in our list was this: why is it important to show love to others at church?

This might seem obvious, but it generated a great discussion at our table about how church should be a place without cliques or divisions, without drama or gossip. It should be a reflection of God’s love! It’s by your love that others will know there’s something different about you. In John 13:35 Jesus tell his disciples, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

The disciples of Jesus performed miracles- healing people, casting out demons, speaking in languages they didn’t know! But the thing that set them apart? Their love.

One of the girls at our table, Elaina, is newer to our church- she joined us for the first time ever at Encounter Week youth camp and has been consistently attending since then. Every time I see Elaina at church, I’m genuinely excited to see her. I love that she has plugged in to a body of believers as she continues to explore her faith!

Elaina explained that the reason that she has continued showing up for church is because of how kind and welcoming others have been to her. The adult sponsors at camp worked to be sure she was able to get rides to summer events. Her family leader kept in touch. And the other students in her grade have welcomed her into their social circles. These intentional measures of inclusion and kindness paved the way for Elaina to find her place.  And now, our church is better because Elaina is in it.

When I was in college, I walked into a healthy ministry where the student leaders loved each other really well. We invited friends and nonbelievers to lots of our events. One specific guest stopped in the middle our bowling game one time to ask- “Why are y’all so nice to each other? What’s so different about you?” When believers live out the love that we’re called to, others notice. It’s magnetic!

As we all reflect on 1 Corinthians, may we think about the ways we intentionally show love to others around us. How are you loving- in a patient, kind way that isn’t rude or boastful- towards your family? Your peers? At church? If love is what brought Elaina to our church family, who else can be make a place for?

As we interact with others, let’s remember that it’s by our love that we truly represent Jesus!

Chelsea Judkins

Chelsea Judkins

Chelsea Judkins is the Girls Minister at FBCA. She and her husband Kyle have two children, Lucy and Theodore. Chelsea enjoys hiking, cooking, and having coffee dates with the youth girls!

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