The Easiest and Hardest Thing

A devotion on 1 John 3:16-18

By this we know love, because he laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and closes his heart of compassion against him, how does God’s love remain in him? My little children, let’s not love in word only, neither with the tongue only, but in deed and truth.
–1 John 3:16-18

Love is both the easiest and hardest thing.

In so many ways, love is easy. It’s as easy as smiling at a stranger on the street. It’s as easy as offering some money to a homeless man. It’s as easy as doing the dishes, remembering someone in your prayers, or letting a friend share over coffee. Love can be so easy that we should love a lot more often than we do.

But love is also the hardest thing.

It’s easy to donate to the homeless. It’s harder to mentor a man out of prison, supporting him through all his ups and downs.

It’s easy to do the dishes. It’s harder to listen to your spouse when all you want to do is respond.

It’s hard to stick it out. To forgive. It’s hard to not only sacrifice your time, but to also build a lifestyle of sacrifice where your focus is on the needs of others before your own.

Love is both the easiest and the hardest thing for flawed, imperfect humans like you and me.

But love is always the greatest thing.

God is love. He invites us to become more and more like Him so we can be love too!


Loving Heavenly Lord, Help me to show Your love to others. Help me freely share the material things with which You have blessed me. May I never close my eyes or my heart to one of Your children in need. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


What is an example of “hard love” that I have done for God recently? What made it difficult? How did it make me feel?