The Love You’re Looking For

love2012

There’s a pattern of thinking I often pick up on among friends who are stuck in a tired, burdensome, unhealthy,  system of religion. They almost always think,  “God withholds His love and you must submit to the ‘system’ to earn that love”.

It’s very easy to buy into this way of thinking because there are two things that are true, not only for them but for you:

1) We crave love.
2) We’re quite sure that all love has stipulations and conditions.

Ultimately this is why unhealthy religion can so magnificently manipulate people, right? However, listen to how Romans 3 contradicts this idea.

Romans 3: 22-26
22 We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. 24 Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, 26 for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus.

This is huge because as long as my heart is beating, I CRAVE love.

It’s true. We’ll do almost anything to belong to someone or to belong to something including, but certainly not limited to, committing to a tired old list of legalistic rules and laws.

I know you guys know this, but just pause to think about the implications of Romans 3.

What if today I walked in the truth that God is not in fact waiting for us to earn his love, but that he is passionately pursing us with His Love.

So how about you?

Do you crave love?

Do you think there can be such a thing as unconditional love? And if so, why do we always revert back to trying to earn God’s love?

7 Responses to “The Love You’re Looking For”

  1. Cindy says:

    I think craving love is a basic human condition. It’s kind of the whole point of our existence since we were made to love/worship God. We just aren’t very good at it and seek love elsewhere. I do think that there is unconditional love…that’s what we get from God and if we are following the example of Jesus, we will strive towards offering that to others. I think we revert back to attempting to earn it because as much as you try to follow the example of Jesus, we all fall short of the glory of God. Failure isn’t a lack of unconditional love, it’s not getting up after missing the mark and trying again. I also think that unconditional love is easily confused with tolerance. I love my children, as unconditionally as I can, but if one of them starts to take advantage of that, as a parent, I NEED to put up a boundary at some point. Tough love is loving you even when I need to stop putting up with your crap. My mother gave me tough love and it was hard, damaging to our relationship even, but I appreciate it now and the damage was repairable. God’s love, while unconditional, can be tough love too. He corrects and disciplines and oh man, is that hard! But I’m always grateful for the new level of closeness and the lessons learned.

  2. DIANE1230 says:

    God is always good. He does not have us earn anything to gain His love – that’s why Jesus went to the cross, that’s why we have God’s wonderful grace. But, people have disappointed me over the years. People have had me earn their love & their grace & their understanding, so I sometimes forget that God is God & place Him in the same box that I put other people in. The truth of the matter is God is going to love me no matter what. God created us for love – He created us to love Him, to be close to Him. We search for that intimacy elsewhere, but the only true place we find it is in God’s loving embrace of us.

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  4. Kathy Sturgis says:

    Reading Romans 3 today I saw a whole new love. Christ in his perfect fair and just righteousness shows us undeserved kindness and love completely dependent on his sacrifice for me. He loves me the way I desire to be loved. — not on what I do but on what he has done for me. He wants me completely because I am his creation. He wants me back. Oh praise God. What relief!

  5. Jason Vana says:

    I crave love – and like you said, I find myself reverting back to trying to earn God’s love more often than I’d like to admit. I know He loves me unconditionally, but that is such a difficult love to wrap my head around at times, especially since we are used to and programmed to believe love is conditional.

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