“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” 1 John 4:19-21
One of the big things the Bible repeats is that Christians are to be known by their love for other people. But, we all know how hard it is to love other people.
We get in fights with friends, parents, brothers, sisters, and other family members all the time. The Bible also says that the difficulty we have with other people is a direct result of sin affecting our hearts.
Many times, our relationships with other people are like rocks crashing together in a bag. Little by little, the relationship gets shipped away until there is nothing left. We’ve all been in fights with our brother/sister and had our parents say, “Tell ____ you love them.” Usually, we grumble the words under our breath and still stay angry with them. You can say “I love you” with your mouth and still hate the person in your heart.
How can we love other people better? Where does this type of love come from? These verses answer these questions in a very simple way.
We are able to love other people because God first loved us. In other words, Christians are to remember just how much love and grace God has shown them and then they are called to show that same love and grace to others.
Our hearts are to be motivated by gratitude for what God has done for us instead of by a “moral duty” to obey. Instead of grumbling under out breath, the fact that God loves us should bubble over into our relationships with others.
How would your relationships change if God’s love for you motivated how you love and serve others?