No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. 1 John (NLT)
For God, loving is easy—it’s who God is. The bible tells us God is love. That says to me that God would have to stop being God in order to not love someone. So why does God want to express his love for the world through you and me? Let’s face it—love is hard and humans aren’t very good at it. We have to be taught to share, to wait, to let someone else go first. We want what we want and we don’t like to inconvenience ourselves.
Love means putting aside my priorities, my needs, my desires, and sometimes even self-preservation, to take on another’s priorities, needs, desires and protection. Love is doing this whole-heartedly and without condition. It’s easier when it’s someone I care for and am in relationship with—family and friends, maybe even a neighbor or two. But God also wants to show love to those who are different from me and those who have hurt me. God’s love is encountered in the respect I have for them, the help I give, the encouragement and comfort I share, and the forgiveness I grant. Now that’s a lot of “I”s in one statement, especially when the subject is God’s love and that’s the point of the question—why does God choose to show his love for a world of people through me, especially when I’m so bad at it!
Maybe it’s because being loved is easy and takes no effort and therefore is not as rare and precious a gift as the gift of loving one another. Maybe loving others is one of God’s greatest gifts to me. Being loved make me feel good and valued. Loving another humbles me and shapes my heart and my life to be more like God and the person God created me to be. Being loved brings joy and hope. Loving others brings healing, first in me and then in others. Love isn’t something I can produce. It’s a grace and blessing God has planted and nurtured in me and love isn’t really love until that grace and blessing blossoms into the shared experience of God, me and another.
No matter who you are or when you are reading this, I want you to know that you are loved!!! And maybe someday God will grant me the privilege of sharing that wonderful blessing with you in person.