Wednesday, April 29, 2015

1 John 4:19-20 -- On Love

"We love him, because he first loved us.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?"
1 John 4:19-20

I think it is interesting to say that God loved us first, and that is why we love him... it makes me think of parents in general.  If not for their love, we wouldn't be here, and the love that they showed us taught us what love was, how to show love for others, etc.  On a much larger, and far less imperfect scale, this is also true of God.  Everything we are is because of him.  Our ability to love, to feel love, to be lovable, all these come from him. And on more than a physical level, our trust and confidence in ourselves and ability to feel safe and confident in offering trust and love to others, despite possible broken hearts and disasters in the past, this is also from him.  Our resilience and ability to recover, to learn to risk again, to find a calm within ourselves.  We can't always find good examples of these things in our earthly role models.  But when we can't, we have God to teach us anyway--an incredible blessing, to be able to learn things without a physical example to emulate.
Which is partially the context of the next verse.  Without a physical example, it is nearly impossible for us to do anything. We rely so much on our senses to learn that without that, we would need some serious assistance from God to accomplish anything.  We are here together on this Earth so that we can learn to love... "we serve as each other's clinical material" as Neal A. Maxwell said.  We can't learn to love God without learning to love the people around us, and we definitely can't get past this stage with hatred in our hearts.  So, as we move forward in learning about love and learning to love, let's make sure we take the step of working out the negative emotions that are getting in our way.  God loves everyone... even that one person that we are finding it impossible to deal with.  Let's go to God and find out why. :)  Let's learn to rid ourselves of the poison of hate, and to open our hearts to other people, and especially to God.  Let's find out what true, godly love is like.

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