we're upset with the other person, or they said something stupid to us, or hurt us in some way, or they got on our last nerve, or we just don't feel like it. Then we retreat into our Fortress of Solitude, or sing Simon and Garfunkel's "I Am a Rock" to ourselves and pretend we don't need the other person anyway, so there.
The Holy Spirit changes all that. He is the very essence of the love of God., and the Father sends him to give you and me God's love, which is the only way we can love anyone else (1 John 4:19).
Do you believe the Father loves you? In fact, he loves you just like he loves his Son, Jesus! "May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me." (John 17:23). He doesn't want you to live in fear and torment, but in a relaxed assurance of his complete love for you. Let's look at more of 1 John 4:
- "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" (verses 9 and 10).
- "Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. And God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us" (verses 11-13).
- "We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect" (verses 16-17).
- And then John says, summarizing these verses, "Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love" (verse 18).
Are you ready to know God's love completely? Just ask him!