Chuck Foreman – Teaching Pastor
Sometimes it’s easier to love our neighbors than the people closest to us, isn’t it? It’s not that we don’t love our families and close friends, I think it’s just that we tend to drop our guard in a way that we don’t typically do with those with whom we are less familiar. And so unkindness, impatience and even anger can creep in causing hurt and conflict. The more I’m looking into the mirror of scripture, especially 1 John lately, the more I’m realizing how I’m not doing so hot with this love my brother & sister and love each other thing. Sometimes I wish the Apostle John would just lay off, but he doesn’t. He even seems relentless at times about the call on our lives to really, genuinely love people with action and truth (3:18).
We all need to receive love, but we all need help from outside ourselves to give love consistently. We need God and his love in us loving others through us, for us.
John knows that Jesus was the means by which God, the source of love, showed his own love to us. He believes it’s important for people to know that Jesus was God in the flesh, giving himself and revealing himself in love to mankind. If he wasn’t, then love is without origin other than our own imagination and there is no basis, no reason for us to love each other. God’s act of love in Christ is the original act of love toward which all history looked with yearning and from which all history now flows with relief and hope.
But it’s not enough for us to just know all this about God and what we may believe he did for us. For John the Apostle, who did real live time with Jesus, it always boils down to us learning to love others like God loves us—unconditionally, before others love us and even when they don’t love us back. Can we learn to love like that? It appears that this is what love turns out to be. Any other “love” is not what God is after in us.