It’s easy to confuse love with self-righteousness. For example, I may do something that looks like it’s loving toward someone. People may think well about what they see me doing. But, if I’m doing it out of pressure-from/fear-of God/God-expects-it/God-demands-it, then I strongly believe it has no credit with God. Because, you see, in this case I’m really doing it for ME! My goal is more to be a good person than it is to love the other person. Do you see how this is not really love for the other person? It’s really about me trying to be “a good person”.
But I don’t need to focus on being a good person anymore. That’s already been accomplished by the sacrifice Jesus made. I’m not being graded by God anymore. I have “straight A’s” on my report card, so to speak.
This is so simple that it’s easy to miss. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were missing it right now. But, it’s also profound, life-changing and important. If you don’t get this idea, then keep working on it and asking about it. It is life changing.