“ ‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another’ ” (John 13:34).
By Lyndelle Brower Chiomenti
Last month’s Synapse was inspired by a question a 9-year-old boy asked President Obama: “I have to say, why people hate you and, and why, they supposed to love you and—God is love [sic].”1
His question caused a firestorm of caustic remarks about the President. Yet nowhere could I find any curiosity regarding the nature of God’s love. So together we explored the following two texts to help us determine what God’s love is like: (1) “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16, 17, NKJV); (2) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, 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” (1 Cor. 13:4–8, NIV).
Now that we have defined godly love through these two verses, we need to take a look at how we can develop such love. It all begins when we accept Christ as our Savior. Then we are born again through the Holy Spirit, who “renews our minds, writes God’s law of love in our hearts,” and gives us “the power to live a holy life.”2
This process does not happen overnight. In fact, it takes a lifetime. However, as we continue to draw closer to Christ, the more power we will receive to love as He and the Father love. We will learn that Their love looks beyond race and gender. Their love “refuses to take shelter under caste but contributes to the enrichment of the soul; it rescues the dignity of a person from the prejudices of dehumanization; it delivers human destiny from the philosophic holocaust of thing-ism. In effect, true love sees in each face the image of God. . . . A growing, mature Christian will possess that kind of love. . . .”3
1. NYDailyNews.com, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2009/10/15/2009-10-15_why_do_people_hate_you_kid_asks_obama_all_part_of_the_job_prez_responds _.html (accessed November 20, 2009).
2. Seventh-day Adventists Believe. . ., sec. ed. (Boise, Ida.: Pacific Press Publishing Association.,(c) 2005), p. 133.
3. Ibid., pp. 157, 158.