3 Myths About Loving One Another

Loving others can sound like Christianity 101. It goes right along with all of the other things we learned as children about going to church—“Don’t run in church. Dress appropriately. Don’t hit people. Don’t bite. And love each other.”

Easy. Or is it?

In the book of John, Jesus says, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). While we know we are called to be examples of real people truly loving each other, there are several myths that can keep Christ-followers from fully understanding what it looks like to love one another. These myths can hinder us from being willing to fellowship with one another.

Myth #1: Loving others comes easily when you are saved.

When we believe that loving others will always come easy once we are saved, and then this proves to be quite difficult, we can begin to think something might be wrong with us. We can wonder if we got the full dose of Jesus or if we might just be hardhearted or bitter. The truth is Scripture does not teach that love comes easily.

Yes, because of Jesus, loving others becomes possible. But this does not mean it will be easy.

Myth #2: True Christians never fail or hurt one another.

It seems to make sense that people who are filled with the Spirit and truly love Jesus should never fail or hurt one another. This is why when another believer does hurt us, we can find ourselves thinking, “Hold on. If you were a real Christian, you wouldn’t have said that. You wouldn’t have disregarded my needs or been so insensitive.” However, the Bible is filled with examples of people who loved Jesus and still rubbed each other the wrong way and people who outright failed one another.

We are broken fallen creatures, and once Christ redeems us, He calls us His children and nothing can ever change that. But, the reality is that even as His children, we all still struggle. If believers do life together long enough, I guarantee you, we are going to fail one another.

Myth #3: Loving others just happens naturally, so there is no need to be intentional.

You might be thinking, “Yes. I get all of this. I believe Christians should love one another, and when I’m given the chance, I’ll try to be loving.” The problem with that thinking is that we miss the call of God to be intentional about pouring our lives into others.

One place I see this happening is with our personalities.

Maybe you’re an introvert with a quieter personality. You might not be the kind of person that is stimulated by having a lot of relationships. You are content with two or three close friends and you are happy to let other people simply remain acquaintances.

Opposingly, maybe you are so outgoing that you have become effective at keeping everybody smiling, but always at arm’s length. You never really pull back the curtains of your heart and allow people in to see your scars and your struggles.

Our personality type can become a stumbling block to the love that God has called each of us to exercise. We cannot just stay inside our comfort zones and claim, “Well, this is how I am.” Christians are to get up every day and say, “My job is to love the King and then love my brothers and sisters who love the King.”

I wonder what it would look like if, in addition to our normal prayers where we ask the Lord for wisdom and protection of our loved ones, we also asked Him to help us love others intentionally?

Here is a short prayer we can make a habit of praying:

Help me to love today, Lord. Show me someone who I cannot only pray for, but my love in their life will be an answer to their prayer. Lord, use me. Pour me out. Yes, I have struggles and burdens. Yes, there’s brokenness in my heart. But You woke me up today. You have a plan. How would You work through my life, Lord? Don’t just love me well. Help me love others well.

Again, loving others may not be easy. But as we keep praying and surrendering to the work God is doing in our hearts, it becomes possible.