As I am writing this at the end of the year, I'm reflecting on how well I've done in living out this passage. Have I loved in a way that demonstrates the Father's love to others? Well, unfortunately, probably not.
To love in that way is hard...really hard, and it requires of us a level of self-sacrifice that requires tremendous effort. After all, it is pretty easy to love those that are kind to us, love us, and treat us well. The real test is to love those that hate us, to offer ourselves to those that would abuse us and that gift, and do not love us in the way we would want to be loved.
There's a challenge for the coming year, LOVE. Love those that love you, but more importantly, love those that don't. Love those that talk about you behind your back, love those that hurt you, love those that are unloveable by human standards. They are the ones that are most in need of the Father's love, and through your love, you can show them that God is real.
You, and all of us, may be surprised at how they react to that love.