1 John 4:12
No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.
So often I get caught up in the world and I forget this verse. My selfishness tells me that my agenda and my needs are more important than anything else. I find myself bothered when people get in my way while driving, when the line doesn’t move fast enough, and when I don’t get a good seat in church or in the movie theater. This is what I’ve been trained to do. Everything about the world I live in tells me that I am the most important part of my day. I go to work so that I have money to spend on the things that I want and the places that I want to go. If I don’t live for myself, no one will take care of me and I will be deprived of the happy life that I deserve.
In the midst of all of my self-obsessions, I bypass people in need of love. I’m so busy worrying about my wants and needs, I forget to see the very people God has commanded me to love. I forget to see them with the eyes of Christ. I forget that the white Buick LeSabre in front of me may be making the sad trip to the funeral of his best friend of 50 years. I forget that the person working the register for my line may be mentally handicapped and thrilled to be working his first real job. I forget that sitting in the back row at church means that the church is full of people hearing God’s word.
Sometimes, I think it would be good for us to remove ourselves from our lives for one day and listen to the people around us. People begging for someone to be patient and understanding with them, begging for someone to give them true love with no agenda. This is the love we were commanded to give. We are to give love the way it was given to us, fully and with no strings attached, love that is selfless and full of patience, love that pours out of a heart that has been truly loved by its Creator (read I John 4). Our God, the Creator of the universe chose to love us in our ugliness and sin. He chose to give His only Son to die on a cross and bear our sin even though He knew most wouldn’t accept it. He chose to love despite the rejection and the pain. This is how we are to love so that those we encounter will understand the love of their Creator and so that God’s love will be perfected in us.