“Beloved, if God loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another.”
If God has given everything He has to save us – giving us His nearest and dearest Son to save wretches like us, we also ought to have this kind of love in our mindset. We should not find ourselves looking down on anyone, because we all struggle with the same sins and temptations. Those who do not know Christ are to be pitied, for they live life alone and have no loving Heavenly Father to care for them. As Jesus said, they are sheep without a shepherd.
But our love for the sisters and brothers in Christ should be like the Father’s love for us because we emulate Him as our loving Father. Children take the resemblance to their parents, and therefore as children in the family of God we love as our Father loves. We do not quarrel and fight like those in the world who have never known the love of God, but put the needs of others before ourselves.
“…make my joy full by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through rivalry or through conceit, but in humility, each counting others better than himself; each of you not just looking to his own things, but each of you also to the things of others.”
Our natural inclination is self first, but now we are changed and can trust in our Father God to protect and supply all our needs, so we can obey the law of love. We can overcome our basic insecurities because we are secure in Christ and He will prepare the way before us as we interact with other people.
Sacrifice is a difficult concept for us. We do not naturally make sacrifices for others except they are close to us, like family. However, our sisters and brothers in Christ are also now family, so we are willing to make sacrifices for them too. If I see my brother or sister in need, I should be willing to do something about it, not just prayer, but practical help and support for them. This is hard for us as it costs us, but Christ command it, so we obey Him.
“But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart of compassion against him, how does the love of God remain in him?”
1 John 3:17
This is where the teaching about love really impacts on our life. If we are to seek God and seek to be like Him, then this will be our mindset.