I have a friend who is renting a home that he has been interested in purchasing for the last several months. My friend was going to get the opportunity to purchase the home before it went on the market. The owner wanted to sell the house for close to $200,000, but the appraised value was closer to $150,000. The owner could not believe the appraised value and was adamant that the house was worth $200,000. Unfortunately, no matter how much this owner wants the house to be worth more, the reality is that it is worth far less than he thinks. His reality does not match up with true reality.
Friend, too often we view our love for God and others like this property owner viewed his house. We think that we love well, but the reality of our love may be far less than we think. Our love for God and others is an indicator of our faith 1 John 4:7-8:
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
According to God’s Word, how we love proves that we genuinely know God. Early in my marriage I thought I was an excellent husband. I thought I loved my wife well and was a model husband until one day when I asked my wife if I loved her well. After asking, I waited patiently and she responded with a very clear, a very soft, but a very powerful, “No.” My reality did not match up with the true reality of my love. I thought my love was worth $200,000 but in reality is was worth far less.
The reality of our love is important. How do you know if you love well: ask the people who know you best. How would they characterize your love? Is your love patient and kind? Does your love insist on its own way?
(A quick word of caution, do not ask these questions unless you are ready to truly hear the response. We ask these questions because we want to love better. We do not ask these questions in an attempt to validate ourselves.)
We should be full of love because we are called to walk in the footsteps of our Savior. 1 John 4:9-10,
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God does not merely talk of love, but God shows us true love in sending his Son to die turning God’s wrath from us on Himself. Our love will grow for others when we understand the reality of God’s love for us. We were wretched sinners and yet, the Lord died for us. Those who have been forgiven much, love much. Do you understand the reality of the Lord’s love? Do you understand the reality of the Lord’s forgiveness?
We know the reality of true love because God has loved us through Christ. May the world know the reality of this love in how we love one another!!