November 10, 2012 by jmar198013
Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4.7-8 NLT)
For some time now, I have read these verses as an indictment: an unloving person does not know God.
This makes me prone to judge other Christians when their love is deficient. “Obviously this jerk doesn’t really know God. Otherwise they wouldn’t act like that.”
Furthermore, it backfires on me. In moments of honest self-critical reflection, I see clearly how imperfect is my own love. I know the times when I have failed to love well or without hypocrisy. I question my own relationship to God. Even my own salvation, in darker moments.
Today I had a breakthrough: why not read this passage as an invitation to love and experience love? John’s point: if you are capable of loving well, it is because you are empowered to do so by your experience of God’s perfect love.John’s words are an invitation to become conduits for the love we have received.