Ephesians 5:1-2 commands we become imitators of God, by walking in love.
Love is so hard and yet so easy. It is so hard to love others but so easy to love ourselves.
God is love. He loves everyone.
This belief is unique to Christianity and not shared by Muslims or Hindus. This is why they can murder mindlessly and keep people in oppressive Castes.
While God loves everyone, regardless of color, size, skills or income, people have struggled immensely to love similarly. Some have loved greatly and we marvel at their example. Martin Luther King Jr. exhibited love in the face of persecution. Mother Theresa loved unconditionally the ugly and dying touching the ‘untouchables.’
The Christian ethic leaves no margin for not loving everyone. We are to love those who persecute us, praying for those who harm us. We are to love those different from us for in Christ there is no male or female nor any nationality or income discrepancy.
While the Church has no perfect record of obedience to these commands the Church is the only community embracing those commands.
The healthy among us love our families deeply yet it is these people in our families that reveal the meanest most unkind aspects of our character. Love is a struggle. Love is a struggle mostly because we measure it by its benefit to us rather than its benefit to others. God loves exactly the opposite.
We love when we feel like it or when we feel like people deserve it. God loves because He is love and we need love. He loves like a mom with a new born child.
The child doesn’t reciprocate love but the mother gives it lavishly. So too God gives us love all of our lives to everyone in the world with or without our best efforts to reciprocate love toward Him.
God’s problem is He chooses to remain invisible choosing to make His visible appearances through His people. This is why He commands, He pleads, with us to imitate Him and love others. The love God wants His people to exhibit is His unconditional love that He has for people, all people no matter who they are or what they have done.
The good news is that God offers Himself in His Holy Spirit to strengthen us and equip us to love as He loves.
Oh that God would pour out His Spirit upon us so that we love as He loves. Oh that we would seek to love others as God loves us.