The Habits: 3 Characteristics of Abiding in God's Unconditional Love
“In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother” (1 John 4:17-21, NIV).
It is essential for those who seek to lead like Jesus to put into practice the habit of abiding in God’s unconditional love. Only then can we become the leader that God meant for us to be.
John tells us in this passage that there are three characteristics of a person who is abiding in God’s unconditional love. The first characteristic is that we will have “confidence” (v. 17). If we are abiding in Him, our love will become more mature and perfected so that we will have the confidence and boldness to face the challenges that will come our way.
Secondly, we will have faith and not fear. John writes that “perfect (mature) love drives out fear” (v. 18). Because we abide in God’s love, we no longer have to fear. Faith that “drives out fear” comes from abiding with Him. Why are so many Christians fearful today? It is because they have not learned to abide in God’s unconditional love.
The third characteristic is that we will demonstrate our love for others (v. 19-21). John says that because He first loved us by giving His life for us, we must show our love for others. He goes on to write that if you don’t love your brother, you don’t love God. It’s just that simple. Our love for others is the supreme test of whether we are truly abiding in God’s love.
The servant leader who seeks to lead like Jesus must love like Jesus. But to do so, you must first learn to abide in His unconditional love yourself. Are you abiding in God’s unconditional love?
Written by Fred Waggoner