God is Love, and Love is Better than We Can Imagine

Paul in chapter 13 of his first letter to the Corinthians writes a revolutionary description of love. He says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”  Now I could go on and on about how we should treat those we love in such a way, especially our families, but that is pretty basic. “Even the pagans do that,” Jesus said. No, as Christians we are to love everyone, even our enemies. Meditate on that a moment. Can you even imagine trying to treat your worst enemy in such a way? I fail in that regard all the time. That isn’t what I wanted to talk about today though.

In the first letter of John, he tells us that, “God is love.” A much used, but seldom applied verse. So if God is love, then according to Paul God is patient, God is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. He does not dishonor other, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.

Does this sound like your idea of God? It pretty much eliminates the possibility of the wrathful, judgmental, even blood-thirsty image of God that so many people have. He is so much better than we imagine, or even can imagine. God’s love is perfect and unconditional and so far above our limited ideas of what love can even be. That’s what Jesus tried to tell us, and we killed him for it. How could we have missed it? He wants to pour His love and His grace, upon us and we just can’t stand it. He must construct limits to God; we give rules and laws to His love. We can’t love unconditionally so how can God? We are so used to having to earn love from others so naturally we think we would have to earn God’s love, but we don’t. That is the gospel. That is the good news. God is better than we ever dreamed. He loves us freely and just wants us to do the same.

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4 responses to “God is Love, and Love is Better than We Can Imagine

  1. I never thought of it that way. In that I mean replacing the word Love wtih God. That has caused me to reflect much on how I feel about my enemies. I don’t pray for my enemies, I find this very difficult. This has caused me conflict within myself and new knowledge on how I should conduct myself regarding this matter. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

    • This was so good! The Gospel is amazing! I needed to hear it again for myself. God bless!

  2. Do you the author of this blog find it hard to forgive those who have hurt you most, do you find it difficult to not hate them? I am working on this and have found the one that has hurt me the most is myself. But forgiving my sin seems to be telling myself that it doesn’t matter anymore, I feel it would be unjust for me to walk around without the burden on my sins, but really it seems unjust that I get to walk around at all.

    • I’m so sorry that I haven’t replied sooner, I’ve been out of town. Your question is a complicated one, but one that is very important. There is not a quick clever answer for you. One thing to keep in mind is that God doesn’t want you feeling guilty. Guilt is a bad emotion that will eat you alive. When you feel that conviction from the Spirit that you have sinned, do what the Bible teaches and confess to God. Really talk to Him about it. Spend time with Him about it. I promise that if you work on your relationship with God you will learn to forgive yourself, because you will realize that God has forgiven you. I would also advise you to go to confession. I cannot express to you how much better I feel after going to confession. The priest cannot and will not repeat what you say to him and will be able to advise you much better than I.

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