It’s easy to get discouraged about our weaknesses and shortcomings. But God doesn’t beat us down; he lovingly invites us to improve.
Our weaknesses sometimes seem insurmountable. But when we learn to discern God’s love for us, we’ll realize that his grace is sufficient to make weak things strong (see Ether 12:27) and that because he loves us, he invites us to improve.
In the New Testament, a rich young man who had kept the commandments from his youth asked Jesus, “What lack I yet?” (Matthew 19:20). Jesus’s response to the young man tells us all we need to know about how Jesus feels about us: “Then Jesus beholding him loved him” (Mark 10:21). Jesus loved the young man, showed appreciation for what he had done so far, and then invited him to do even more.
In the talk “Then Jesus Beholding Him Loved Him,” Elder S. Mark Palmer shares four lessons he’s learned from Mark 10:21:
1. “As we learn to see others as the Lord sees them rather than with our own eyes, our love for them will grow and so will our desire to help them.”
When we truly see those around us as divine children of God, we’ll feel God’s perfect love for them.
2. “No true teaching or learning will ever occur when done in frustration or anger, and hearts will not change where love is not present.”
The Spirit resides where love is. When we have love for God and for our neighbors, the Spirit will be able to teach us.
3. “Love should never be withdrawn when a child, friend, or family member fails to live up to our expectations.”
How many times have we failed to act on a prompting or to keep a commandment? Despite our mistakes, God doesn’t withdraw his love for us. We should have that same unconditional love for our neighbors.
4. “Because He loves us, the Lord expects much of us.”
The Lord is always prompting us to be a little better. He may ask hard things of us, but he never does it in a way that puts us down.
Elder Palmer says, “Anytime you feel you are being asked to do something hard, think of the Lord beholding you, loving you, and inviting you to follow Him.” God loves us for who we are, and because he loves us, he invites us to do better.
Learn more about loving others the way God loves us by reading Elder S. Mark Palmer’s talk “Then Jesus Beholding Him Loved Him.”
—Taylor Nelson, Mormon Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY FAYE CORNISH
Find more insights
Discover more about God’s perfect love for us by reading the Gospel Topics essay “Charity.”
Take a look at Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk “Be Ye Therefore Perfect—Eventually” to learn more about how God invites us to improve.
Read President Thomas S. Monson’s talk “Love—the Essence of the Gospel” to find ways to develop Christlike love.