Ephesians 5:1 – 2 “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
We are to imitate God, in much the same way as children imitate their parents. But there are many things about God that we just can’t imitate! I can’t make a world, can you? We can’t spin the stars into orbit. We can’t speak the sun into existence. We can’t singlehandedly overcome darkness and evil. Only God can do those things.
We cannot imitate all of His actions, but we can imitate His character. And what is at the center of God’s character? Love. We can love! Paul urges us to live our lives with love as the central ingredient.
But love is a strange little word, especially in the English language. Love can mean many different things. It can mean the flower-power, hippy-dippy kind of love of the 1960’s. It can mean the excitement we feel when we are attracted to another person. That word can even express my feelings for chocolate – I love it!
Thankfully, Paul didn’t end his sentence after “live a life of love”. Instead, he continued on to explain the kind of love he meant. God wants us to love each other as Christ loved us. He wants us to love each other with a self-sacrificing kind of love. We are to love in a way that thinks always of others before ourselves.
You see, the human kind of love says, “I’ll love you as long as you are lovable. But if you are unattractive or annoying, if you make me angry or I disagree with you, then I’m not going to treat you in a loving way.” But God’s love says, “I love you, even though you are not lovable. I love you, even though you have made me angry, even though you are annoying and unattractive. No matter what, I will treat you with love, because that is my character.”
I’m glad God loves me like that. Aren’t you?
I want to love like that.
Dear Father, Please help me to love others the way You have loved me.