Romans 8: 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Here’s a simple reminder- no matter what we do, no matter what we don’t do- there is no way to cause Jesus to love us any less and there is no way to cause Jesus to love us any more. Now that’s profound.
We can spend so much energy trying to get folks to love us, hoping that someone loves us, doing things that look selfless and considerate just so that others will think we are those things. Yet the very things we are doing are self-serving because we are operating out of a need to be loved instead of an overflow of the love we already have in us. This is a huge distinction and they both look quite similar. Truth and the counterfeit of the truth generally do look similar.
Here’s the danger. If we are in any form of relationship- romantic, friendship, business- you name it, where we or the other person are operating out of a need to be loved, accepted, etc, then we are living in a place where truth is hard to find. The only source of true, selfless love is God Himself. If we are that person who is so grounded in His love and His opinion of us, then we have His love to give another. If we are not, then we love for the sake of being loved. There is nothing inherently selfless in any of us. It’s God in us that is selfless. And we may or may not be aware of it, either!
But heaven help the one who is in a relationship with someone who appears to be selflessly loving them but who, in fact, is doing all they can do to please them so that they will in turn be loved. It’s a trap! As soon as they discover that you, too, are incapable of filling their empty cup, they will turn against you and it’s not pretty, that desperation! Buyer beware. There is danger behind that smile. And don’t be that dangerous one who is trying to please and sacrifice in order to be loved. You will end up disappointed if your hope remains in another human being. Put your hope in the One who loves you, always has, and always will, with a selfless, sacrificial love. Only Jesus is capable of giving us what we need. Take the pressure off those around you- especially your spouse or significant other if you have one- and own responsibility for your own inner peace in knowing how loved you truly are. There’s nothing to earn.
Take away: There’s a distinct, night and day difference between a need to be loved and loving. Yet, they can look exactly alike. It’s important to know in any relationship out of which the other person is operating. Often, the only one that can get through to you is God Himself to reveal your circumstance. Take the time to think it through. It’s only in knowing who we are in Christ that we can be truly free to love others.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for loving me. Thank you for filling my cup and being the only one who could ever do so. Please help me to see through Your eyes and have compassion on those who are struggling so hard to be loved. And let me not be swept away by a counterfeit- for both my sake and theirs. Teach me your ways oh Lord. And direct my path. Amen.