Loving as God Loves
“I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.” 2 Chronicles 7:16 (niv)
Loving others can be a hard thing because it involves risk. It means extending our hand with the risk of it being slapped away. It means opening ourselves up to the risk of being hurt by a person who doesn't reciprocate our love.
Yet Jesus asks us to love other people as we love ourselves. That’s a lot of love, because we’re programmed for survival and self-preservation. But Jesus Himself was an example of loving despite risk. He loved Judas, whom He knew would betray Him. He loved Peter, who denied Him three times.
We don’t often think of God the Father as loving with risk, but He did. When Solomon built the temple, God promised that His eyes and His heart would be there. That meant He would see the people who sacrificed to Him and prayed to Him. That meant He would feel the hurt of their unfaithfulness.
I think He felt it when invaders raided and looted His temple—after all, wouldn’t you feel upset if someone raided and looted your house? And He felt it when the temple was burned to the ground, because He had set His heart there, to love His people. He brought them out of Egypt because He chose them to be His people. He chose to love them, just like Jesus chose to love us.
FAITH STEP: Look again at the familiar verse about loving others. Yes, it might involve risk and hurt, but Jesus thought the risk was worth it. God thought the hurt was worth it. If you’re fearful, that’s okay—bring it before Jesus and ask Him to help you to love others the way He loved us. Despite the risk of hurt.
Written by Camy Tang