“What if we approached other women with love instead of fear? What if we approached other women with freedom instead of comparison?” – Trillia Newbell
I went to a conference this weekend with my college ministry, Campus Outreach. One of the talks that impacted me the most was the women’s seminar. Trillia Newbell spoke on friendships among women, 4 ways they’re hindered, and 3 ways to fight for them.
What if our interactions with other women reflected delight, freedom, and enjoyment instead of judgement, fear, and timidity?
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. — Mark 12: 28-34
And I applaud you if you’re one of the few who don’t fit into the broad statement I’m about to make, but most of us as women struggle with loving each other.
It’s easy to love our best friends, it’s easy to love kind people, it’s easy to love people who agree with us, people who laugh at our jokes.
And I know this might be hard to swallow, but I don’t think Jesus wants our love to stop there.
Jesus wants us to love all our sisters.
Even the ones who hate us. Even the ones who lie about us. Even the ones who like our boyfriends. Even the ones who leave us out. Even the ones we don’t want to call sisters.
Because if we take an honest look at ourselves, we’re no better.
We all need abundant grace. Every single day.
As a culture, we’ve trivialized love. It’s not fake niceness. It’s not a like on a post.
It’s radical. It’s praying for the girl who cheated with the guy you thought you loved. It’s asking God to bless the girl who told everyone lies about you. It’s forgiving the girl who hurt you because God forgives you every time you breathe in rebellion.
True love is not that we love. But that He loved us.
“In this is love, not that we have loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” – 1 John 4:10
And we are transformed by this. We don’t have to hate each other anymore.
We’re free from that.
God set us free from the slavery of hatred to be free. Not to run back to slavery once more.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” – Galatians 5:1
We need Jesus for this.
We need Jesus to love each other.
So let’s beg Jesus together. Let’s beg Him that we would forgive the ones who hurt us. That we would ask for forgiveness from those we hurt. Let’s love our sisters more than ourselves. Let’s love our sisters more than we desire a guy. Let’s love our sisters more than we crave the approval of others. Let’s love our sisters more than the illusion of control that gossiping offers.
Let’s love our sisters because Jesus loves us.