We Love Others Because God First Loved Us

Numerous humanitarian and utilitarian reasons urge us to care about a twelve-year-old orphan half a world away. International responsibilities make it incumbent on developed nations to assist the developing world. Fundamental matters of human rights have been carefully defined and advanced by the United Nations, Western governments, and a host of nongovernmental organizations the world over. Global egalitarian and ethical reasons motivate democratic societies to offer aid because they ‘hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalieanable Rights.’ There are (sometimes misguided) missiological reasons for assisting the poor. Finally, there are self-serving motivations for aid that are often a prelude to exacerbating already complex and troubled circumstances.

However, for Christians, the bottom line is this: Who God is, is how we will be. Because we are God’s very own in Christ, we reflect who He is.

The above quote from Matthew C. Harrison’s book, Christ have Mercy: How to Put Your Faith in Action illustrates the simple motivation behind Christian mercy as contrasted by the world’s reasons for caring for others. We love others because God first loved us (1 John 4:19).

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