Reading 1 John, I found this passage irritating: “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” That day, someone was visiting that I didn’t want to see. Not her, I thought. I don’t have to love her, do I?
And then to question your salvation over it! It was upsetting to read–especially knowing I don’t put it into practice.
But reading again, I found this verse: “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”
“God is love” is a big verse, but what about “whoever does not love does not know God?” The passage describes Jesus, the manifestation of God and love.
When it comes to love–and feeling like we have to produce love or else we aren’t real Christians–I think it helps to know that knowing God equals love. I mean this to say: before you agonize over your lack of ability to love, who do you think God is?
That made me realize that my view of God can be skewed. I often blame God for sins committed by his servants, or other people. To love, I must separate God from those people and my pain over their sin.
Perhaps knowing God seems scary. We’re afraid of what we do not know. But it’s in knowing him–realizing his heart for his people and the way he tells the story of the world– that we find his true nature. Most of all, God is found in Jesus. And Jesus can do nothing less than inspire us to real love.
Pray and ask God to help you know him through Jesus!