“One of the words that best captures the love of Jesus is proximity. . . . The incarnation of Christ Jesus coming to earth makes is clear that the way he loves requires proximity. It’s hard to love someone if you’re determined to keep your distance.”- Kyle Idleman
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”- John 13:34 (NIV)
In Chapter 3 (“The Proximity Principle”) of One At a Time, Kyle Idleman observes that most of us absorb ourselves in the adventures of other people. As we watch the weeks go by, we read stories someone else has written. Or we watch TV shows about the life someone else lives.
Therefore, Kyle asks, can you imagine how it’ll feel to reflect on your life and realize there were/was:
- adventures God intended for you to take, but you never experienced them?
- a purpose God created you for, but you never fulfilled it?
- opportunities God placed in front of you, but you took a pass?
- stories you were meant to be a part of, but you turned and ran in the other direction?
Consequently, the author asks, how do we live out the adventure of God’s will for our lives? In John 13;34, Jesus reminds His disciples of one of His primary purposes for them. Above all, Pastor Idleman takes note, Jesus gives the disciples a new command. Not a new suggestion, idea, proposition, or recommendation. Also, in this verse, Jesus shows the disciples a new way to love. Thus, a new command. And the disciples learned this teaching with freshly washed feet.
Most significantly, the Twelve knew that the love of which Jesus spoke:
- puts others’ needs ahead of our own
- considers others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3)
- doesn’t insist on its own way or keep a record of wrongs (1 Corinthians 13:5)
Today’s question: How do you apply the Proximity Principle as you give witness to the love of Jesus? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Staring down fear – the key”