But it all starts with knowing and experiencing the foundation of how we can love with authenticity.
The gospel tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His Son for us (John 3:16). He did not just love us, but He so loved us that He gave Jesus to us. And isn’t it true that we experience this every day? God shows to us His grace, mercy, and forgiveness in a huge way, every moment of every day.
Thinking about this truth, I have thought about the amount of God’s love and likened it with a big bucket.
Picture this: every time we wake up in the morning, God is just so excited and delighted to shower us with His love from a big bucket. A bucket full of grace, mercy, strength, forgiveness—whatever you need, you name it! God gives a bucketful of it. The cross shows us that God did not hold back. He went all out. But why is it that most of the time we celebrate and thank God for the bucket yet we dispense love to others with a cup?
Yes, with a cup, a little amount of love is the measure we tend to give others.
We have a tendency to treat others differently than how we want God to treat us. From God, we want the bucket. But so many times, for the people around us, we carry a cup. When they ask from us forgiveness, or love, or mercy, very often we give them so little. We give them a cup.
When we are more prone to give the cup rather than the bucket, it probably means that we have never really fully received the bucket and we have only received and believed in the cup. It probably means all we ever understood that we got from God is just a tiny amount of His love, all the while not knowing that He is a God who so loved us because what we give is a reflection of what we have received.
What we give is a reflection of what we have received.
And if somebody is receiving a cup from us, it’s not saying something about them, it’s saying something about us.
So as with Paul’s prayer in Ephesians, may we genuinely grasp God’s love for us, and may it result in a change in how we love others:
…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, Ephesians 3:17-18