What does it mean to love one another?
The simple truth is that you can’t really love anyone unless you let God love through you.
That’s the love Jesus was talking about, and that’s the only kind of love. Everything else is fake.
God is love. There is no other love. And God loves everyone the same.
So if you want to be obedient to Jesus’ commandment to love, just tell God that you choose to forgive anyone you’re holding anything against. God will then honor your choice and work through you. That’s because when you choose to forgive, God forgives you, and his spirit can then flow through you. You’ll love everyone with God’s love, as God will literally be loving through you.
That’s what Jesus meant when he said to love.
Unfortunately, many of us try to manufacture love on our own, without God’s help and with hearts in varying stages of hardness. You cannot love and be holding something against someone at the same time. It’s not possible. Again – you cannot love when your heart is hardened against even one soul. All you’ll be able to muster is a fake cloying affection that makes the person on the receiving end cringe.
God loves us all the same. Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, Satanist, whatever – he loves us all the same. He doesn’t love born-agains more than atheists; he doesn’t love Jews more than Muslims; he doesn’t love Jesus more than the rest of us: He loves us all the same.
And if God loves us all the same, and the commandment from Jesus is to love one another, then we should love everyone the same, whether friend or foe, keeping in mind that such a love is impossible unless it comes from God. God makes what is impossible for us, possible. That’s what a miracle is.
When we choose to forgive and let God love through us – WOW. It’s like pulling the pin on a love grenade. You just explode love in all directions; you can’t keep it in. You love everyone. It’s an amazing place to be. Your relationship with each person is different and unique, but the strength of your love is the same. And the love is supportive and protective and encouraging and patient, not selfish or demanding or possessive or needy. It doesn’t matter to you if you’re loved in return; it doesn’t matter to you if you’re even liked. It just doesn’t matter. You’ll know it’s God loving through you because all you want is the very best for everyone, just like all God wants is the very best for us, whether we love him or not, or whether we even believe in him or not. God loves us all the same, all the time, all of us, regardless.
We need to get to that place of love if we’re going to make it all the way through to the end, but we won’t get there – and we won’t stay there – unless we give God permission to love through us. For me, I simply say: “Daddy, whatever it is I’m holding against anyone, I choose to forgive. Please help me.” And he does.
It’s really that simple.
And really that miraculous.