We know that God has many attributes, some of which are singly those of God and we cannot begin to compare ourselves with Him. Others, however, are called “communicable attributes” and these are characteristics that God has granted to us. Attributes of omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, for example, are attributes that belong to God alone. Even the most arrogant of people cannot assert that they can be in all places at once!
Other attributes, though, have been given to human beings, albeit in a watered down version of the pure attributes of God. For example, love is an attribute of God and it is an attribute that He has communicated to us.
God’s love, called agape love, is self-sacrificing. it is love which thinks only of the object being loved, without any strings attached, without any consideration of love being returned in kind, without any anticipation of that love being returned. it is pure love for the one who is loved.
Because we live in a fallen world and we are sinful creatures, the love that we give to others is much more selfish and self-centered. We love others but there is always at least a little bit of “what’s in it for me” associated with our loving actions. At a minimum, we expect to be thanked for the kindness that we are exhibiting.
Recently, a friend sent me this video showing the mutual bliss that God’s created beings show when love is extended to them. I expect that there are those who would argue that animals don’t feel love, they are just humoring the humans who feed them. Or, I expect there are those who would argue that God did not give animals emotions at all. I respectfully disagree!
I am not a veterinarian, and I am not an animal psychologist. I am merely a woman who has had dogs in her life for almost its entirety. The joy, comfort and pleasure that my dogs have given, and continue to give, to me is wonderful. And, we love the pets in our home, taking joy in seeing them playing and interacting with each other and with us.
Oh, that we would exhibit God’s love to each other. Scripture says:
… but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by His life.
God loved us when we were His enemies, because we are sinners who disobey His commands continually. Sinners who take His blessings for granted, without gratitude or recognition. Sinners who flaunt our achievements as if we did them on our own, rather than realizing that God is the One who enables us to do everything!
Yet, despite our sinful nature, God loves us and sent His Son to be our Savior, Redeemer. That is the love we should exhibit to others. Because He loved us, we should so love others.
Father, forgive me when I have been self-centered and have not loved others as You have loved me. Open my eyes, my mind and my heart so that I can love as You love, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I pray.