Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

1 John 4: 7

 

We have been told that “what the world needs is love” and “love is what makes the world go around.” We can whistle, hum, and sing these words all day long, but do we believe them? The real challenge comes into play when we need to demonstrate that we actually believe that we are loved greatly; truly accept the love that others have for us; or give it unconditionally to anyone else. It is when we are faced with fully living out lives of love that most of us fall short.

 

Loving others and accepting love makes us vulnerable and we feel exposed. So we spend too much time hiding out in the bushes in fear of what God and others may see when he comes upon our exposed nakedness. Of course, God has already seen everything, and He has already committed to love us totally. Still, when we see someone who is in pain, tears welling in the eyes, we turn away as we pretend to hear our named being called from across the room. There is the co-worker whose life is falling apart, and we nod and give an empty reassurance that “it will all work out”; then, we try to be certain that we are not alone with that person again.

 

Yes, it is true that the world needs love. That has always been true; yet, it is a basic truth of nature that God has always met every real need that exists. We were created with loving care, and our Creator has loved us absolutely ever since. We need to accept that fact and to accept our responsibility to open our hearts to others. The willingness to care for those around us in this risky, very vulnerable manner is one of those attributes that should distinguish those who know Christ from others. Consider who you will seek out today to care about, to listen to, to get to know better. Pray for the courage to step into the pain that is in another’s heart. In Christ, we are called upon to live so that others can truly “know we are Christians because of our love”.