“Love each other!” we pastors tell our churches. “Be patient, kind, and forgiving,” we urge. But instructing people to love without telling them they are loved is like telling them to write a check without our making a deposit in their accounts. No wonder so many relationships are overdrawn. Hearts have insufficient love.
The key to loving is living loved. Remember Paul’s prayer? “May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love” (Ephesians 3:17 NLT). Does bumping into certain people leave you brittle, breakable, and fruitless? Do you easily fall apart? If so, your love may be grounded in the wrong soil. It may be rooted in their love (which is fickle) or in your resolve to love (which is frail). John urges us to rely on the love God has for us (1 John 4:16 NIV).
Many people tell us to love. Only God gives us the power to do so!