The Gift of God’s Love

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God and God in them. (1 John 4:16)

The best advice I could probably ever give someone is to learn how to see people through the lens of Christ, through a “love-tinted glass” of sorts. When you begin to have compassion for people and consider what they’ve been through, (including the things you have no idea about) it’s easier to overlook an offense. Imagine how bad someone must be hurting to hurt other people.

If anyone says “I love God.” and hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given this command: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:20)

We cannot love God and hate people. It’s not easy; there are a lot of people in this world who are really difficult to get along with and even more difficult to love. We aren’t called to agree with them, and we aren’t even called to like them, but we are called to love them, that is, to treat them with love.

I myself haven’t always been the easiest to love, but God loved me anyway. He never gave up on me, even when I ignored Him, used His grace as an excuse to sin, and treated His children horribly. God never changed; He continued to show me love and mercy. When my eyes were finally opened, and I asked for His forgiveness, He forgave me. The truth is, though, He loved me even before I repented.

God’s love is unconditional; it’s unchanging. He is love. It doesn’t matter what you or I do; He will never change who He is. This is what His love teaches us; it teaches us that loving someone, truly loving someone is made possible because it’s who we are and not what they do.

God teaches us the beauty of living in love. When we learn to see people through love-tinted glass, it takes the burden off of us. Learning the art of compassion frees us from the bondage of anger, bitterness, offense, and unforgiveness. It’s in learning to love like Jesus, we can find true rest.

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