"The aim of our charge is love that issues from
a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."
I often question my motives - which proves to be a good, sanctifying, and humbling thing to do from time to time. I started reading through 1 Timothy last week and this verse stuck out to me above anything else in the first chapter. Paul tells Timothy (and us) what is most important -- what we are charged to do as Christians -- to love.
We are called to love not only our neighbor but also our enemy (Matthew 5). And let's be honest, some people are easy to love and on the other hand, some are very difficult to love.
But regardless, Paul charges us to love -- and we know it is genuine love if it has three key components. First, it has to come from a pure heart - rather than one filled with sinful desires. Secondly, it has to come from a good conscience - rather than one laden with guilt. And finally, it has to come from sincere faith - rather than pretense and hypocrisy.
I hope I can tuck this little nugget of truth away and remember it whenever I start feeling unappreciated or unloved. Loving people takes effort -- sometimes the most simplest tasks are by far the hardest to do when it gets tough. God sees our efforts, even if no one else does.
Keep loving purely.
For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.
God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.
We love because He first loved us.