“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34,35)
Many cannot love because they have never been loved. To know the love of God in Christ is to know how to love. We can love well, not because we have been loved by others, or have learned to love ourselves; but because we have been so well-loved by God.
We want to be loved because we’re lovely and lovable. What we admire in ourselves, we want others to admire. We would gain the favor and praise of others for the beauty or excellence we possess. But this is not how God loves us in Christ. He loves us because He is love. He loves us when He finds nothing attractive about us. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
Before God asks us to do anything, He wants us to receive His love. Do we know this amazing grace that has nothing to do with our worthiness, but proceeds from the goodness of God’s own character? If we have, Jesus says, “Love one another as I have loved you.”
Are you having a hard time loving someone because they are unlovely in your sight? Remember: you were once very unlovely in God’s sight. Will you only let yourself love another when they change and become better in your eyes? Remember, you were loved when you were at your worst; and you are still loved even though there’s plenty of room left for improvement.
Of all people, God’s beloved people ought to show the world how to love, because they have been loved with the extraordinary kindness of a good, patient, longsuffering God. Realize why others love so imperfectly. They simply have not experienced the perfect love of God. Show them the greatness of this love by the way you love. Be the light in this loveless world!