The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son. John 1:14 (TEV)
The love of God is intimate and personal. He came up-close in Christ, and that means we cannot hide our imperfections and faults from him. He knows about them anyway.
This model from God means we need to love each other intimately and personally, looking past the faults and weaknesses of one another, seeing the handiwork of God in each one of us, knowing that we also have weaknesses and faults but that God is active in our lives, too.
When we know and believe that God is determined to love us no matter what, we can stop being concerned about our faults and conform to Christ instead of our fears (Romans 12:2). When we don’t believe that God loves us no matter what, we try to put on masks that make us look perfect in order to hide our faults. When we try to hide behind masks, we undermine God’s plan that we live together in transparent, loving communities, such as small groups.
The reality is, God’s love is perfect, and he wants to cover our faults with Jesus Christ.
God goes beyond merely diagnosing our problems or judging our faults (Psalm 103:10); instead, he steps forward to address the areas of our lives that are broken:
- Into our emptiness, he brings fullness and completion (Colossians 2:9-10).
- Into our deficit, he brings supply (Philippians 4:19).
- Into our death, he brings life (Ephesians 2:1, 5).
- Into our separation, he brings reconciliation (Romans 5:10-11).
- Into our imperfect love, he brings perfect love (1 John 4:10).
The more we’re conscious of God’s love, the less self-conscious we become about ourselves. We spend less time and energy looking to appear perfect and have a life where everything is exactly the way we want it to be; instead, we invest more time and energy pouring ourselves into other people, who, along with us, make an imperfect community, but one infused with God’s love.