"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." - 1 John 4:8
In today's Our Daily Bread Kirsten Holmberg writes about the difficulties she experienced after adopting a child. She writes, "Trauma from his early days in an orphanage was fueling some negative behaviors." She was finding herself withdrawing emotionally because of his behavior. In talking about it with his therapist she was told, "He needs you to go first. . . to show him he's worthy of love before he'll be able to act like it."
This is what God does for us--He loves us first, in all our unlovely behavior, our ungratefulness, our self-centeredness. His love enables us to love Him. If we then do not go on to love those who do not know God--those with unlovely behavior, ungratefulness, and self-centeredness--it is a sure sign that we do not know God either. We should be grateful for the difficult people in our lives because they will help us see whether or not we really know God.
I am grateful for the difficult people in my life because they always help me know how well I know God.