The below excerpt is from 9Marks Journal, Living As A Church: https://www.9marks.org/article/class-vi-fellowship/
“Even though we are called to love one another, our flesh still yearns to divide over fleshly characteristics like race, culture, economic status, or age. Because we are sinners, we will always be self-focused first, and then ‘same-focused.’
That’s exactly what Christian love calls us to struggle against. When we do God is glorified. If Christian love meant nothing more than loving those who are in some way like you, our love would be indistinguishable from the world’s love. As Jesus said,
If you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? (Matt. 5:46-47)
As a Christian, therefore, you ought to be struggling to love more broadly than is comfortable for you. Ask God to give you grace to love people even when it is not easy….
Loving others requires some understanding of the depth of God’s love. It’s only when we grasp something of the depth of God’s love that we are able to respond in love toward others. As John put it in 1 John 3:16, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” So Paul prays for the Ephesians:
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:17-19)
Paul wanted the Ephesians to know Christ’s love so that they would respond in ever-increasing love for others. We love because he first loved us….
This kind of non-discriminating love is a theme throughout the New Testament. James 2 tells us not to show personal favoritism. And Paul exhorts us in Romans 12:16, ‘Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be conceited.’ Therefore, form relationships with people who don’t look like you, who are not the same age as you, who are in a different stage of life from you, or who have a different personality.
- If you’re young, visit the elderly.
- If you’re elderly, talk to the young.
- If you’re not a child, care for the children.
- If you are a child, play with an adult.
- If you’re not a teenager, help with the youth group.
- If you are a teenager, get to know someone who’s not.
- If you’re an extrovert, slow down and befriend an introvert.
- If you’re an introvert, force yourself to talk to someone—anyone.
- If you’re well-paid in your job, make a friend of someone who isn’t as well off.
- If you’re not so well-paid, learn to love those who are.
- If you’re White, consider whether you’re inviting your Black friends into your life in the same way you do your White friends. Do you have any Black friends?
- If you’re Hispanic, consider whether you’re doing this with your Asian friends. Do you have any Asian friends?”