What is written below is for both edification (instruction) and reproof (correction) of the body of Christ, myself included. For someone who has not committed their life to God through His son Jesus, this may not be the time to read this as this is pretty blunt, but necessary to not stagnant in your growth during your faith walk with God.
We are all broken in need of a savior, continuing to need Him daily, whether we currently realize/accept it or not. When not operating in accordance with the Word of God, we all have an overwhelming tendency to judge(condemn) people. Many times this judgment ultimately boils down to whether we deem someone worthy to be loved, as if there is any other Godly option. God came for sinners- everyone! True love is unconditional. Not one person can stand and say that they are worthy of love based upon performance as no one is perfect except God (Jesus).
Truth is, since we many times don’t perceive ourselves or others correctly, we miss out on the absolute beauty of being able to show someone sincere love, the love God gives us day in and out; signaled by our very existence. Each and every person is of an immeasurable, priceless value, no matter what labels we as a society place on people (no matter how warranted we believe information that we ” THINK, FEEL, OR HEAR” is. Even if we witnessed the bad choice of another, it is imperative that we understand how much fault is in our fleshly nature too.[note: your spirit man is the true you!] Though we can be deceived into believing that our own morals or ethics are sufficient, God is perfect, so by His standards, we all come up short. It is only when we come to a place that we see the value/potential in everyone around us even if they are liars, thieves, gossipers, idolaters, rapists, murders, hateful/wrath filled people, jealous people, prideful people, lustful people, slothful/lazy people, gluttonous people, greedy people, selfish people, etc. By the way we all fall into one or more sin categories from time to time if we can be honest with, at least, ourselves. All these aforementioned descriptions are sins, all of which stink in His nostrils, yet HE STILL LOVES EACH AND EVERY ONE OF US TO A DEGREE WE COULD NEVER TRULY, COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND.
Withholding love (forgiveness is part of this) from one another is prideful, in direct opposition to God no matter the excuse or reason we provide. In fact, we are basically saying that we are higher than God if we truly believe that we have the right to choose not to love someone based upon their performance. After all, not one of us can say that we are without sin except to be an arrogant liar, who God still loves by the way. So in all humility, our desire, since we say we love God, should be to pursue the will of God to be in unity with one another.
Matthew 22:36-40 [Love God, Love People]
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
1 Timothy 2:1-6 [ He wants everyone Saved]
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men. For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
God’s Love Described: [Note: this(Agape) is the only true love, in that this love is eternal. The rest (storge, eros, philios, etc.) are temporary in nature in that these types can be directed by impure motives and have a great tendency to be conditional, driven by circumstances.
1 Corinthians 13
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity(love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity(love), I am nothing.
And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity(love), it profiteth me nothing.
Charity (love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity (Love) never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
And now abideth faith, hope, charity (love), these three; but the greatest of these is charity(love).
Praying for our continued growth in the Lord,