“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.”
// Peter 1:22-23
In this scripture, Peter gives us a hint on how to be a good friend: be obedient to God. Is it really that simple?
The earnest, pure-hearted love Peter is referring to is a true, voluntary love. As we ascend the Mountain of the Lord and add to our faith virtue, self-control, steadfastness and godliness, we are solidifying our foundation to be able to go out and love others. This life is not a solitary race, it is a journey to be shared with companions.
Just as it would be unwise to climb Mount Everest alone, the same is true of the Mountain of the Lord. When hiking up rough terrain our tendency is to keep our head down, taking calculated steps and usually breathing deep – focusing on making it to the top rather than remembering who we’re hiking alongside.
As someone who once denied Jesus in moments of stress and trial, Peter gets this first hand. It’s why he says obedience to the truth will cleanse our souls. Saying yes to God even when it doesn’t make sense purifies our heart and invites God in to rewrite it – it’s the doorway to transformation! In essence Peter is saying: now that you have been obedient and persevered to live from God’s word, go love – and mean it! He understood that we are not here to build a personal relationship with our creator alone, but also to go out and love one another deeply from the heart, experiencing God’s love in community. Experiencing God’s love for us should not only push us inward, curious to explore more of who He is, but also outward, determined to love others just as He does.
We have been born again through Christ – we have started our second chance, and it is limitless! The days ahead should not resemble the days of old; our days are not fading away, but growing ever brighter. We are not called to love others in order to become purified and satisfied, but instead we enter into relationships equipped as the imperishable seeds of Christ and run the race in freedom. Pull from your transformed life, the one God is building in you, to love others. Love with eagerness, love diligently, and love without expectation. Anything less is not from our new creation, but from the old.
// Janel Navran