The Bible states that in the end days, love will grow cold. My brother recently travelled up from Georgia to come visit me. He described to me a situation in his church and asked me what I thought. I told him that love is the thing we are missing the most today. Love overlooks a lot! Where love is, destructive (opposite of constructive) criticism will cease. Love builds up people rather than tear them down.
I recently finished up a youth retreat. One theme that arose out of the weekend which I did not plan was the old hymn, "They will know we are Christians by our love." The hymn originates from John 13:34-35. Faith, hope, and love remain but the greatest of these is love. I Cor. 13 should not just be read at weddings. The love chapter is the roll call for every believer when he wakes up and steps out of bed each morning. Colossians 3 echoes this call! Before we put on our clothes of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, we are to put on love which binds all of these other clothes in perfect harmony.
I would encourage every believer to do an in depth study on the subject of love. In my college years, I went on a love fast after my study and prayer in the Word. I challenged myself to open every door for the person behind me, to put others above myself and myself last. The little things mean the most. I had come to the place in my spiritual walk where I really understood the love chapter. I had come to understand in my walk with God that fasting, giving, praying, going, spiritual gifts, and even myself are nothing without love.
If asked the question, Can we prove that God exists?, many people would say no and that is why we must have faith. But after this latest youth retreat, I learned something invaluable. Jeff & Rachel Lovingood in their curriculum Live it Tell it said this: The Bible's criteria of proof are your love for God and your love for others. In other words, we can prove to others that the ultimate love act of Christ dying on the cross for our sins is reality. The old hymn had it right the whole time...by our love by our love, they will know we are Christians by our love!