“We learn that we are lovable or unlovable from other people…That is why God tells us so many times to love each other.”
-Blue Like Jazz
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” -John 13:34-35
“Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.” -Romans 15:7
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:11- 12
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet 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 us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” 1 John 4:16-18
“Now about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other.” 1 Thessalonians 4:9
“It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.” -2 John 1:4-6
God tells us so many times to love.
Like Donald Miller says in his book Blue Like Jazz, we learn that we are lovable or unlovable from other people. If as followers of Christ we do not love those who haven’t experienced Christ’s love for themselves we are essentially telling them that they worthless, and that God is too good for them.
It’s hard to love.
Especially those who do not fit our standards for decent human beings.
But does Christ withhold his love from the lowest of us?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16
For God so loved the world.
Not “For God so loved the middle class, church-going, SUV driving families.”
Not “For God so loved those who loved Him back and read the Bible.”
For God so loved the liars.
For God so loved the cheaters.
For God so loved the prostitutes.
For God so loved the hypocrites.
For God so loved the entire world, including those who called themselves his followers while at the same time withholding their love from those who need it the most.