"Now that you have purified your souls by your obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart."
(1 Peter 1:22)
We "love" a lot of things... from this new song ("I just love it!") to a good hamburger ("I LOVE this burger!") to a day off ("Gotta love a vacation day!") to acquaintances ("I Love you, man!"). Okay, so we probably overuse the world LOVE a bit. The author of 1 Peter reminds us that when we're "obedient to the truth," we will have GENUINE MUTUAL LOVE. Genuine... real, sincere, & rooted (not surface-level only). Mutual... denotes a relationship; reciprocal - we must be involved in the lives of others! Love... more than "like" or affection; concern, feeling, investment, commitment.
To this end, we're encouraged to "love one another deeply from the heart." I consider myself a fairly friendly guy. In fact, I probably have more than the average person's friendships, because of my role as a pastor. And yet, if I'm honest about things, very few would qualify as "deep" relationships. The deepest, of course, is with my wife, Jody. But beyond that, I can probably count on one or two hands the other relationships that I "love deeply from the heart." (At least ones that I've invested a significant amount of my love into!) WHY? Fear of intimacy? I don't think so. Unwillingness to "let others inside"? Not really. Lack of desire? Nope. Why, then? Laziness? Possibly. For some reason, it's easier to go through life with a plethora of "nice friendships"... than to be intentional about "loving one another deeply from the heart."
And yet... the Christian Church should be the place where deep relationships are cultivated! That's where some of life's greatest abundances can be found - if we're willing to go there.
What can I do TODAY to start cultivating deep relationships!?!?