On my facebook page I posted the following statement:
Love. Oh that we were truly experts at it. We would then help others see they are loved not because we are so nice but because they are indeed so truly lovely. We might never succeed at it but wouldn't it be wonderful if we were so good at loving others that when they get to heaven and find the love of God their reaction would be unremarkable.
I received a positive response that raised this question which I have paraphrased like this:
But are we really lovely? True that love is redemptive and I enjoy what you say about those things but we are not really lovely, we love because we were first loved?
Not to get overly semantic. It is true that being loved is a prerequisite to acquiring the ability. But that only explains how we acquired the courage to engage in the behavior. When we have been loved and realize that the reason God loves us is because we are lovely that is when we dare take the courage to take another look at ourselves all the way down to the very core.
With new eyes, where we once saw imperfection and failure we now see potential and developmental progress. We see ourselves differently and while becoming totally honest we experience a paradigm shift that alters the significance of that which we feel no need to deny. After a while we discover that all those issues that made us feel unlovely were either misunderstood, total lies, out of focus, or issues irrelevant to our essence as authentic loveliness.
In time, we start to see the truth. YOU ARE LOVELY independent of your ability to see it. God loves you, not because He is nice but because He is honest. You begin to see that the major energy behind any stalled development, any bad behavior, and everything we might label "sin" is merely a case in point of the pathology of a person trying to survive the lie that they are not already lovely.
Love begins to heal us when we experience it. Next it takes on more healing power when we reflect it. But its power is unleashed 100 fold when we realize love is an expression of an honest evaluation and the kindness of love is not just "nice" it is appropriate to the value previously hidden from our eyes. It was hidden because we thought all that other stuff, real as it may or may not be, had something to do with who and what we are in our essence. And now we see it does not. Everything that goes wrong, every mark that is missed is ether the result of an underdeveloped potential or the result of a destructive burden created by living in the lie that you are not lovely.
We discover that living loved is the only honest way to see ourselves and others. Living loved enables us to grow towards our potential without unnecessary delay and it lifts the burden of the lie of ugliness off our backs so that our performance may become unencumbered.
Love is not just nice it is honest.