Are there people you love as soon as you meet them? I know a few people who have seemed, right from the start, like good folk. They are easy to love.
There are other people, however, who seem to be the opposite. They are hard work and loving them requires a special kind of commitment. I suspect you know some people you have had to grow to love.
I might even be one of them!
What is true for all of us, though, is the way in which love and knowledge are linked. When we know more about someone, then we can love them more. As we come to understand what drives them, how they have been shaped by life and how they have responded to their trials and pressures, we can love them more.
The opposite might be true as well. Someone might seem really attractive at first yet become less attractive as soon as they open their mouth!
This link between love and knowledge is true for God as well. In our relationship with God it is true in two really wonderful ways:
- We can always find greater and greater love for God because our knowledge of Him can always grow.
- We can be dramatically changed by the love of God because He loved us fully even as He knew us completely.
These two things are tremendous truths!
They came out of the Bible to me this morning as I was sitting on the sofa reading Philippians. Philippians 1:9 says:
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight…
How great is the love of God? With full knowledge of the sins we would commit, the betrayals we would choose, the love we would be lacking and the weaknesses we cherish, He chose to love us anyway. We know God loves us because of the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, on the Cross for us.
We can love God more and more as we grow in our knowledge and insight of Him. Our Christian religion, our faith, should be full of learning and increasing discernment. Paul prayed for the Philippians. His prayer was for them to grow in love by growing in knowledge and insight.
Could we pray this way for ourselves?