Love is a quality that identifies every genuine Christian. (John 13:35) As we grow spiritually, we ought to express it more fully. The apostle Paul prayed that the love of his brothers would “abound yet more and more.” (Phil. 1:9; 1 Thess. 3:12) Also Peter urged fellow Christians to allow their love to embrace “the whole association of brothers.” (1 Pet. 2:17) Our love should move us to do more than simply attend meetings with people whom we put forth little effort to know personally. It ought to include more than saying a kind “Hello” from time to time. The apostle John showed that it should be self-sacrificing. He wrote: “By this we have come to know love, because [the Son of God] surrendered his soul for us; and we are under obligation to surrender our souls for our brothers.” (1 John 3:16; John 15:12, 13) We have not yet done that. But would we actually give our life for our brothers? Well, to what extent do we go out of our way to help them now, even when it may not be convenient?
Along with deeds that reflect a self-sacrificing spirit, it is also important to have a genuinely warm feeling toward our brothers. God’s Word urges us: “In brotherly love have tender affection for one another.” (Rom. 12:10) We all feel that way toward some persons. Could we include more in the group for which we feel such fondness? As the end of the old system draws near, it is vital for us to draw ever closer to our Christian brothers. The Bible alerts us to this, saying: “The end of all things has drawn close. . . . Above all things, have intense love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”—1 Pet. 4:7, 8.
Of course, as long as we are imperfect, there will be times when we do things that offend others. They, too, in various ways will sin against us. (1 John 1:8) If you find yourself in such a situation, what should you do?