Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
“Dear children…” Let that idea wash over you. You are a dear child.
This isn’t meant to sound condescending or superior. Rather, it is meant to sound inclusive and warm. You should get the sense of belonging to a family, of a safe place, of being “dear” to a loving parent. Not all of us have such ideal childhood images to pull from. But, this is exactly the image we are given. In Christ, we are welcomed into a family as God’s own kids. And, it is from this very position of whole-hearted love and solid belonging that we can rightly understand this bold encouragement to love in action.
It is precisely because we are dearly loved children that we are able to love dearly. We can love authentically, vulnerably, radically, because this is how we have been loved. We can love only so much as we ourselves are loved. And in Christ, we are loved infinitely. So, let’s love others out of the endless trove of love that we have in Jesus.
Take a moment to reflect on what it means to be God’s own dear child.