“Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” (1 John 4:7)
We often want to take credit for being kind and loving. It makes us feel good about ourselves. Who doesn’t want to feel good about himself or herself?
But scripture paints a different picture of how humanity works. Good and loving things do not originate with us. As much as most of us want to take great pride in being “good people” or “truly loving,” the Bible says that all goodness and all love originate with God. In fact, the next verse following the one above tells us that, “God is love.” We do not love because of us. We love because of God.
This can be especially helpful when we see love in other people. Like us, if love is present it does not start with them, it starts with God. So, when we see love expressed in meaningful and helpful ways in the lives of others, it can be a great chance to witness. Instead of saying, “Thanks. You are such a nice person,” we can instead say, “Thanks, I really experienced God working through you.” Witness like this is simple, gracious and allows us to give credit where credit is due.
So, watch for examples of love wherever you are. And when you see love in action, instead of thinking what a nice person it is, celebrate what a wonderful God we have!