“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
Making friends seems so much easier at camp, right? All it takes is a “hi!” walking from Waterpark to Dog Camp and you’re off to the races. We hear it from Jimboy all the time at Breakfast Club. Say it with us now: the best way to make a friend is to smile! Do you know why we make such a big deal of this during the summer? Because of what God says about the people He created.
Every person you have in your class at school, or wave to on your walks, or even your sibling who gets on your nerves, is created by God, and He loves them immensely. C.S. Lewis says it well, “There are no ordinary people. You have never interacted with a mere mortal.” That person who you have a hard time loving? She is created in the image of God! She is valuable. She is the crown of His creation. Who are we to ignore or gossip about or pick on people who God loves?
We are told in the Bible over and over again to love our neighbors, but it is so hard to do! And of course it is. We are sinners living with other sinners. (Basically we’re imperfect, and so is everyone else we see!) So what’s a girl to do? What is the secret for loving our friends and family members the way God tells us to?
It sounds a little crazy, but the first step is to admit that we can’t do it on our own. We are never going to be able to love people perfectly. You know the only person who could? (Get that Sunday School answer ready guys!) Jesus. He loves us all with what the Jesus Storybook Bible calls a “never stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love.” When you are loved like that (especially when you have done nothing to deserve it), it overflows out of you and allows you to start to love others in the same way.
We can love only because He loved us first. Pray and ask God today to show you how much He has loved you, and ask that He would show you how you can love the people in your life today.