Read 1 John 4:11
11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (NIV)
The Greek philosopher Socrates once said that those who were hardest to love needed love most. That is one reason we find loving others difficult. It is no great challenge to love those who do lovely things for us. Much harder to love those who don’t or can’t return that love. We so often love others for the love they show us. Nothing wrong with that unless it limits our love for those who fail to love us.
Another great difficulty in loving others is that we sometimes set the bar too high for ourselves. We figure we ought to love all people all the time. And that is certainly the standard to which we aspire. But given our imperfect humanity, we can’t love everyone with utter consistency. Love is like the tide of the sea: it ebbs and flows.
And it takes different forms at different times. Our desire to love may be constant, our practice of it less so. God’s love for us is the ideal. Our love for others is always less than ideal. Yet it is no less real for that. We dare not give up on loving others just because we don’t get it right all the time.
We offer others our imperfect and inconstant love and trust they will be blessed by it and that our perfect and constant God will honour it and use it.