Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins. – 1 John 4:7-10
Too often, we forget that they are also children of God. Who are ‘they’? They are often they are the unloved, and by allowing them to remain so, we prove then our unchild-like behaviour.
We know in love, we learn in love, and we truly love in God. In God we are commanded to know and in Him we find our very being. How else would it then be when we encounter others.
Further, we are given the example of what is required of us by the example of Christ. It was not that we earned Christ by our love of God, but that by the love of God towards us, we were given Christ. We are not to love in expectation of love in return, nor wait to love until we are beloved, but to seek out those in to whom we can love, regardless of rejection or the inability to have love returned.
Is our love required to the point of death? Is this not the total and culminating rejection? If Christ had ceased loving us at each glare, or each unkind word, insult, or figurative stone, where would that leave us? We would still be waiting for a reunion with God. Instead, Christ loved us past those things – past even the point of death. He loved us before we knew Him, and loved us after He knew us.
Can we do anything less when it comes to the they in this world? If we are to be the children of God, then we must love even those who we know not, but love more strongly those who we know and refuse to love us back.