And the second [commandment] is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39
Every organization has a way of identifying itself. Political parties, sports teams, fraternal organizations, religious groups, corporations—all develop ways of identifying themselves. And members or adherents adopt those means and make them universally known.
Jesus gave His disciples just such a “brand,” or identifying mark: love. In John 13:35, we have His words: “By this [sign] all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” But can’t love be found as a trait in many different groups in society? Yes, but perhaps not the kind of love Jesus’ disciples are to be marked by. In verse 34, Jesus made the love of which He spoke specific: “As I have loved you, that you also love one another.” In other words, it’s not just generic love—it’s a God kind of love: sacrificial, enduring, generous, and unconditional. When we love those around us as Christ instructed, we are manifesting God’s love in the world. As God has loved us, so we are to love one another (John 15:12).
Being a witness for Christ ultimately involves a retelling of the Gospel. But even before that opportunity, demonstrating God’s love can be a first step.
The world does not understand theology or dogma, but it understands love and sympathy. D. L. Moody