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A Perfect Love
Photo:Linda DuBose
If you grew up a Christian, you probably heard over and over again just how much God loves you and how we ought to display this kind of love to those around us. Did you ever want to know where people were getting that information from or read about it for yourself? I did. I was surprised even though I'd been told, to find a God who not only loved me, but loved me no matter what I did.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 is a beautiful description of God's love. "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. Loves does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails..." What a wonderful guideline to try to incorporate into our relationships whether it be spouses, friendships, parents, children and yes, even our enemies.

I remember having a hard time believing that God could actually love me after I'd done something wrong. In James Bryan Smith's book entitled, Embracing the Love of God, he states. "God hopes and believes--he sees our potential even when we doubt and despair ourselves. If God is this way with us, then as extensions of his life in us, we, too, can offer this kind of love to those around us." 1

Hard to Refuse

God offers a love that is hard to refuse. Once we accept it, we will want nothing more than to project it to others. God wants us to accept His love and to dwell in it, but to also allow others to receive this love as it was given to us. This may be hard to do because we often feel there are some people who, we believe, do not deserve our love. Smith goes on to say, "It is not until we love a person in all his ugliness that we can make him beautiful, or ourselves either."

God's love is unconditional and everlasting. That's a perfect love that I am not worthy of, but am given because God promised me and His promise never fails.

"Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11).

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By Erika Gladden. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

1 Embracing the Love of God: The Path and Promise of Christian Life, by James Bryan Smith. Harper One, p.46 and p.51.

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