Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Love Others Without Even Trying

I grew up feeling entitled to God’s love, I mean, he’s God - he loves everyone. It’s a requirement, so you know...no big whoop. Except it is a big whoop, it’s the biggest whoop ever. There is nothing bigger or more amazing or impressive than his love.

I hate to admit I was disdainful when well-meaning people encouraged me by saying, “God loves you.” I may not have voiced it, but I was thinking, “Duh, of course he loves me, tell me something I don’t know.” I was self-righteous in God’s love for me and it showed in my ministry to others. I served out of a heart of duty, rather than a choice to love. It was exactly how I viewed God’s love – as a duty, not a choice.

I was wrong.

God is love (1 John 4:8). It’s impossible to [truly] know God without coming face to face with the realization of his love.  God doesn’t love me, or anyone else, because of duty but because he is love. I could park on this truth and never come to the fullness of it for all eternity; my mind gets wobbly at the thought but I observed something else: the more I understand God’s love for me, the greater my capacity to love others.

Once I understood this equals that, I put to rest all shame-based guilt to add “love people better” on my growing list of Bible commands I was failing miserably at. When my prayer and desire is for me to have more revelation of his love, I don’t even have to pray, ‘teach me to love others more’ because loving others is a natural by-product of growing in understanding of God’s love for me. It’s a win-win.

I have many favourite worship songs; they seem to be linked to and change with different seasons or lessons I’m learning but one song that stays consistently in my current playlist is the song, Amazed, by Desperation Band. The bridge goes like this:

Lord I’m amazed by You
Lord I’m amazed by You
Lord I’m amazed by You
How You love me

The more I understand about his love, the more amazed I become. I slip back into feeling entitled when I stop being amazed by his love. My desire is to continue to grow deeper in knowledge about his love. I want to always be amazed because then I’ll never have to worry about generating love for others.  It will just flow.

What about you? Are you amazed by his love?

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