Our dad often tells us that he is raising us to be loveable people. He wants us to be loved by others not because of what we do, but because of who we are. A lot of girls leave home and go out into the world looking for love, wanting to be loved yet can’t find love or find the wrong kind of love because they are mean, unkind, selfish or revengeful.
They don’t get it. To be loved, one must love.
God tells us the very same thing in His Word:
God’s Love and Ours (1 John 4:7-21)
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 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. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
When we do good things to others, good comes back to us. When we smile at others, we immediately brighten their day and ours too. Instead of looking for love we should go into the world giving love and in return it will find us.
To love another is to love yourself.
Love. Be loved.
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.
? Thomas Merton