THE IMPORTANCE OF GOD’S LOVE SPREAD ABROAD OUR HEARTS
1) It is the basic ingredient needed in all relationships with fellow humans. God’s original plan for creating man in His own image and likeness as lovely, lovable and loving being and given dominion over all others creatures is so that man can reflect his perfect true love to fellow humans and other creatures; loving, helping, and caring for them and living in love, peace, harmony and unity.
However, when man sinned, he was alienated from God and became depraved. Depravity destroyed all that godly true love that fosters good relationships stands for such as humility, kindness, compassion, care, empathy, endurance, and in its place are fake love, selfishness, hatred, envy, jealousy, cruelty, hypocrisy, deceit, and every form of wickedness. Sin has turned man against man, brother against brothers, sisters against sisters, husband against wives and wives against husbands, family members against each other, children against parents, servants against masters, neighbors against neighbors, and nations against nations. Man has stopped being humane and now carry out every form of inhuman activities against humanity. Worst is the fact that man’s sinful activities have caused great harm and damage to other creatures. In fact, everything is in total disarray because of fallen man. These are all contrary to God’s original plan that wants man to dwell in love, show loving-kindness and care to all.
The truth is that fallen man remains the most difficult of all creatures to love because they are hostile, ungrateful, deceitful, abusive, rude, manipulative, selfish, proud, very annoying, insensitive and devilish. They like hurting others intentionally and their thoughts are evil continually. However, God’s counsel is that Christian believers should love them all the same whether they are unlovable or not and whether they deserve it or not and He gave us a commandment to back it up, Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:5. Our Lord Jesus categorically revealed that loving God and loving our neighbors as ourselves are the greatest of all the commandments, Matthew 22:39. We are to love everybody because, despite man’s depravity, man remains God’s special creature having His image and likeness, one He sets His love upon.
So, for the new believers to be able to obey the commandment of loving our neighbors as ourselves, He spread His love abroad our hearts by His Spirit. The same type of love He has for us both the good and bad people that made Him give His only begotten Son to die for our sins. Love of God in our hearts makes us humane. It is what enables us to feel for others irrespective of color, tribe or religion. Love does not think evil, plan evil and does not do evil to its neighbors. It fosters a true, harmonious relationship because it covers a multitude of sins. Peaceful co-existence with one another from different families, religious, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds can only be achieved in love because love does not discriminate against others; it has no limitations or borders. Love is patient, not envious, forgiving, true, kind and caring, 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Love of God enables one to love unconditionally and selflessly. As one extends oneself to love others it will enable one love for oneself to grow deeper, stronger, healthier and happier.
2) It promotes correct self-love. Sin made man become naked, self-centered, self-dependence and selfish among others. The implication of this is that it makes man’s love and focus to be more on himself thereby making him concentrate and think only of himself. Doing this either causes him to love and value himself excessively and to think highly of himself or makes him see his flaws and imperfections and devalue himself looking down on himself. Excessive self-love makes man love himself above God and causes pride, arrogance, self-idolatry and egocentric, while diminished self-love causes self-pity, self-relegation, self-hate, self-defeat, self-deprivations, low self-esteem and value, and self-condemnation. All these are not good for the well-being of man, nothing steals inner peace, joy, and gladness than the above mentioned. All the sinful and self-harm practices many are involved in such as sinful practices, smoking, taking alcohol and hard drugs, involvement in highly dangerous sports and suicide are the result of the above.
The importance for each person to have the correct self-love cannot be overemphasized; self-love brings self-acceptance, self-respect, boldness, courage, peace, joy and happiness. It refrains one from indulging in anything that causes harm to the body, soul, and spirit. The love of God spread abroad our hearts enables us to see ourselves through the eyes of God who created us in love in His image and likeness beautifully and wonderfully Psalm 139: 14. As we do this we discover and see ourselves in the right way God sees and loves us as unique individuals and we can accept ourselves for who we are. As we appreciate God’s love for us we grow deeper and stronger in self-love and can love others.
WATCH OUT FOR PART III.
GOD LOVES YOU AND SO DO I.