A few years ago I became disturbed by the behavior of one of my friends. She was going through some very difficult trials and was very insecure. She kept doing nice things for me, but if she messed up, she would get upset with herself, and if she perceived that I didn’t like what she had made me, she would get upset with me.
As I was thinking about what I could say to ameliorate the situation, it occurred to me that I had told her I would be her friend, and meant it, long before she started trying to “buy” my friendship. How can you buy something you already have?
But how many of us have tried to do the same thing with God? He loves us perfectly, and we know it. We believe it and are saved. Then, some time later, we begin feeling that we need to earn His love by our good behavior. We somehow, irrationally, think that if we are good, He will love us more, and if we are bad, He will love us less.
That kind of love would be conditional. But God’s love is UN-conditional. My friend may not have realized it, but it appeared that she was trying to manipulate me to get my friendship, which she already had.
And could it be that we, also, unknowingly try to manipulate God into doing what we want Him to do or into being who we want Him to be for us, when all along He loves us perfectly and is already everything we need?
“By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him.” 1 John 4:9 NET
“At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:3-5a NIV
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1a NIV
May we find peace and security today in truly believing that God loves us unconditionally and in surrendering to His loving will for us. May we fall at His feet and embrace Him who loved us and gave Himself for us. (Ephesians 5:2)
“We love him, because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19