What are we Christians known for? A good question. There are the quick to the surface answers, which people have in mind when they think of us, particularly evangelical Christians (as I am) here in the United States. And hopefully there would be different answers with more thoughtful reflection beyond the surface.
What was Jesus known for? I think for his love which was rooted in his relationship to the Father, demonstrated in deeds and words. And remaining true through humble everyday activity, a mission with disciples who more often than not didn’t get it, to the cross in which all hell seemed to break loose (and surely did) on Jesus.
What are we known for? A patient, enduring, even sometimes exuberant love in the face of difficulty and opposition?
“Love bears all things.” What motivates us to follow Jesus and continue on that path? Faith, hope and love. Love being the greatest. A love which is personal, communal, that gives and receives, on mission, serving, that is true in the Truth who is Jesus.
When I start to complain about circumstance, or to grumble about others, there needs to come this word to me in Jesus anew and afresh: “Love bears all things.” Love in and through Jesus. Love in the way of Jesus. Love which we are to receive in and through God’s grace in Jesus- sometimes, even often from others, and love which we are to give as freely as we received it.
What we should be known for, what should characterize our lives as followers of Jesus? Love. A love which bears all things to the end. As we seek to follow the one who lived out this love, and continues to do so in and through us, by the Spirit. For and with each other in Jesus in mission to and for the world.