…and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 2 Peter 1:7
Why do we have to “add to our brotherly kindness” and add love? God is Love (1 John 4:8) and He has lavished His love upon us (1 John 3:1), undeserving as we are (1 John 4:10, . Because His love has been poured into us, He is calling us to pour out that love on others, as undeserving as they may be. Love is only truly love when we give it away. Love does not exist apart from a giver and a receiver. But we do not get to choose the people we love or don’t love. God chooses them for us. He places people in our paths each and everyday that we are to love with His love. God’s love is to be extended to all people regardless of our feelings about them. Love isn’t a feeling. It is an attitude, an action for the betterment of that person, for the building up of God’s Kingdom around us. Love compels us to action.
The degree to which you are able to truly love others is the degree to which you understand how much God loves you. When you truly grasp how deep, wide, high and long God’s love is for you (Ephesians 3:17-19), you never look at yourself or others the same. In order to love completely, we must seek to fully understand the level to which God Himself had to reach in order to love us and save us. When we are cheap or shallow with love it means we have forgotten the love of God for us or that we in some way feel we deserve the love we are receiving from Him. Let me be clear, we do not deserve the love we have received.
Loving others isn’t always easy. We want others to make us feel good about loving them. However love is an action we take regardless of others’ responses to it. We love because we have been loved by God(1 John 4:19). We add brotherly love because God has loved us Fatherly. We cannot say we have the Father’s love in us if we do not have love for our brothers; even those who are hard to love(1 John 4:20).
How are doing at loving the people that are hard for you to love? Who has been irritating you lately? Is there a person you feel doesn’t deserve to be loved or forgiven? Does your view of God’s love for you really change the way you feel about God loving others? Should it? What can you do about it?