Perfect Love is where all this is headed. It is not something we can manufacture. It is God’s work in us, by grace, as we allow ourselves to be open to God through community, the practices, and the postures. When we get close to Perfect Love, we experience the “affections” of peace, joy, compassion, gratitude, and hope. These are indicators that we’re nearing our destination.
Perfect Love doesn’t happen overnight. Also, Perfect love doesn’t mean we stop making mistakes, are immune from complacency, or are beyond moments of rebellion. It means we love God with everything we have…and we love others the very same way we love ourselves. This is what we were created for and, by God’s grace, God can bring this creation to completion. This entire discipleship plan is based on sermon #92 by John Wesley, the Methodist founder. Here’s the last sentence of that sermon:
“Be more zealous still for holy [postures]…but be most zealous of all for love, the queen of all graces, the highest perfection in earth or heaven, the very image of the invisible God, as in [people] below, so in angels above. For ‘God is love; and [those] that dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God and God in [them].” – John Wesley, Sermon #92.
“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:17-18).“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).