1 John 2:5
But whoever keeps his word, in him truly love for God is perfected.
Yesterday we talked about love of family as the basic training ground for learning how to love as God loves. Some people commonly object, “That’s not basic training! That’s grad school! You should meet my mother-in-law! She’s no picnic!” To which the answer is: Of course! That’s the point! Learning to love as God loves means learning to love unconditionally. Our families are basic training because our families, in addition to being beautiful sources of warmth, hope, compassion and generosity, are also beautiful sources of aggravation, frustration, pain, and trial. It is precisely in the midst of such things that the Son of God was made “perfect through suffering” (Hebrews 2:10). For his family did not understand him either. None of his relatives believed in him (save his Mother, of course) and some of his friends thought him downright crazy (Mark 3:21). It was all just as exasperating for Jesus as for you and me. And yet, it was in that crucible of small town gossip, petty gripes and growing threats that Jesus kept his word and grew in grace and stature. It is the same with us. If we are faithful in small things, we will be entrusted by God with great things and made perfect by him in order to bear with love those things he gives us to carry for his kingdom. That is how we grow.