It’s been a while since I highlighted one of my favorite quotes, so I thought that today I would share a favorite quote (almost a paragraph) from a book I read earlier this year. I put it in one of my notebooks, and I find myself looking at it often.
Jesus also made it clear that people would know that we were his disciples by our love for one another (John 13:34-35). He didn’t say the world would know we are Christians because we are theologically right, though we should be. He didn’t say people would know we are Christians because of miracles, though sometimes God uses them. He didn’t say people would know we are believers because we are wealthy and disease-free, though God sometimes blesses people in these ways. Jesus said we would be known by our love.
This quote is by Jim Putman and comes from his book Real-Life Discipleship: Building Churches That Make Disciples. I read this quote at a time when I felt like all I was looking around and seeing were people arguing each other down, people tearing others apart over “incorrect behaviors” and hate everywhere. I needed to cling to the idea that the distinguishing mark of a follower of Christ is their love for one another. I need to aspire to that and to know that those that I am surrounded by–many of them aspire to that too. Sometimes in our passion for Christ we can lose our sense of love for each other, and I keep looking at the quote over and over again as a reminder that love comes first.