“We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”
-1 John 19-21
This concept of love has tremendous consequences for our theology, doesn’t it? Henri Nouwen, when he taught on this passage, 1 John 4:7-21, he called this the first love.
John says we only love because God first loved us. That means that in order to love like a Christian, you have to be completely abiding in God’s love for you. And, until you find a home in God’s power and love, you’ll never really have the power to love people who hate you, love people who offend you, love people who gossip about you, love people who hurt you.
We lack the power to love others unless we live with a patient agape love in everything we do, unless we’re rooted in God’s love,.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I live in your love, I abide in you. Because I do, I can love others as you love me. Amen.
Reflection: How has God’s love for you affected the way you love others?