“’If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” love those who love them.’” –Luke 6:32 (NIV)
Anyone can love those who love them. Who wouldn’t love some who is kind and considerate towards us, or who is quick to pay us a timely compliment? There are some people who are naturally charming and lovable, and it is easy for our affections to gravitate towards them. But what if that same person suddenly became an eyesore for us? Perhaps they suddenly become insensitive or uncouth. Our love for them would slowly descend into annoyance and irritation. We would become blind to their admirable qualities and all we will be able to think about is how much they anger us. However, this only proves how fragile our love is for others, prone to change and never truly constant no matte how much we may boast otherwise.
The problem with human love is that it is self-serving. When we love others out of our natural love, it is a conditional form of love. We simply love them because they make us feel good about ourselves when they treat us well out of respect and concern. True love however, is when we continue to show our affection to others even when they do nothing to be deserving of it. Few of us would be willing to show this kind of love to those who especially arouse our ire. Yet, this is the exact love which we are to imitate as children of Christ. Though He being a holy God could not tolerate we who are fallen as a result of our deliberate choice to indulge in sin, He wants to restore us so that we may have life. That is why Christ’s death and resurrection is the greatest act of love so that by His blood we are washed of our sin and made spotless in the eyes of God. When we have allowed Christ’s Spirit to enter our hearts, He will train us in how to love as He loves us; with no strings attached and a disregard for the self. Knowing that Christ loves us despite our sinfulness and will never give up on us, what right do we have to withhold love from others? It is only by abiding in His Spirit that we can truly love, so that others might find hope and healing in the love of God.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.