Picture in your mind the person you find hardest to love. How can you learn to love this kind of person? First, before you can love them, you must feel and understand how deeply God loves you.
Paul writes: ‘I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvellous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high His love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves.’ (Ephesians 3:17—19 TLB) Notice the words ‘feel… understand… experience’. God wants you to feel His love, and He wants you to understand His love. Why?
1 John 4:19 says that we love God because He first loved us. Why is it important to feel loved by God? Because unloved people are often unloving people. When you do not feel genuinely loved, you do not feel like giving love. So, first, you must experience God’s love for yourself. Jesus said, ‘Love one another as I have loved you.’
During your worst acts, and in your lowest moments, Jesus loves you. Knowing you are loved by Christ gives you value and security; it also enables you to risk loving others. All God asks is that you be willing to love, and He will supply the power to do it. ‘The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.’ (Romans 5:5 NKJV)