She said she needed to ask the question.
Does your God allow you to do anything you want?
Because that doesn’t seem like love to me, she said.
She was confused because sometimes Christianity is portrayed as a beautiful one-sided love story where God allows us to do anything we want and He’s standing there with open arms waiting for us to come to Him.
Or He’s there when we need Him for emergencies and then we tuck Him away until we need Him again.
Or we hear His voice and ignore it and then say we’re sorry and that covers it.
You know my heart, friends. I’m all about grace and the fact that we are offered unconditional love is stunning. I never want to drift into legalism, because that’s not where He takes us.
Yet when she asked her question, it cause me to step into her shoes for a moment. She wasn’t a believer, so her only picture of faith was formed as she watched those who did.
Will you do something with me for a moment? Let’s put yourselves on the other side of a one-sided love story. Let’s imagine what it might be like to be the recipient of this kind of love.
I can do whatever I want. I know you’ll always be there waiting with open arms when I’m ready to come to you.
I need you to do some heavy lifting for me. I’ve got it after that.
I know that you want the best for me, but I want this more. I know you’ll forgive me if it doesn’t work out.
I have to honest. That feels pretty awful. I wouldn’t want that in my relationship with my sweet guy, with a friend, with my children. . .
So while we celebrate how God loves us, do we stop to consider how we love Him back?
When I was a girl we’d pick a daisy and pull the petals off one by one.
Love me not?
If it was our lucky day, the last petal would be “love me,” and that meant our current crush would love us back. That’s not at all how scripture portrays love.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37
His love transforms us. He heals us. He guides us. He comforts. He counsels. He leads. He speaks. The sacrifice He gave on the cross was based on love for you and me.
How might we love Him back?
With our heart.
Lord, let us be tender toward your voice. Let us listen. Let us respond.
With our mind.
Lord, help us to think on those things that bring healing, that offer hope, that encourage, that teach, that aligns our thoughts and will with yours. That helps us to believe BIG.
When our thoughts drift or sink into places that are damaging to ourselves or others, may we use the wisdom you’ve given us, and may we learn about You so that we grow more like You.
With our soul.
Father, may the thought of not knowing and loving You create such a chasm in our soul that we choose You always. We are in awe of the love You willingly offer us and we willingly offer it in return.
Love me not?
We’re not God and our love for Him pales in comparison, but He’s not asking for perfection. He’s simply asking us to love Him back. To choose a love story that is all-day, every-day, and that changes us forever.
Today is #livefreeThursday. We’re going to be talking about love stories all day long. I hope you’ll join the conversation!
[inlinkz_linkup id=574347 mode=1]
Suzie, I love this. Loving God with our entire heart, soul and mind takes extravagant surrender and intentionality. Oh, how I desire that. I loved this prompt!
Beautiful words and a great reminder. I wonder how often I have taken His love yet not shown mine for him?
Suzie, this is a powerful reminder to love God with our whole hearts instead of just taking His love for us for granted. (Which I so often do. 🙂 ) It reminds me of how he says if we love him, we will obey his commandments, but then in the next breath he says that if we love and obey, he will come to us and make his home with us. Such a beautiful promise.
Today I’m choosing to love God with my MIND, choosing his thoughts over my own, as I struggle a bit with worry for my daughter. Blessings on your life free Thursday. I look forward to reading what others have to say.
I love this tangible example, Betsy. I recently did that with one of my grandbabies. I chose to love Him with my mind, thanking Him for making this little one exactly as He did, praising Him for showing up in the midst of things that were bigger than us, and asking Him to use this little life as an example of His great love.
Amen to your prayer for that grandbaby! And to mine for my daughter. <3
Suzi, wonderful post! Jesus said if you love me you’ll do what I say. Paul said the love of Christ constrained him. When we really love Him it changes how we live. That doesn’t mean we won’t mess up, but we won’t want to mess up and we’ll hate it when we do.
Suzie, this is powerful! It really made me stop and examine my heart. How do I respond to His love? How do I show Him love? Mmmmh, so so good! Thank you for this timely reminder.
What an interesting perspective! You’re so right and thank you for this illustration. I’m cataloguing it for future conversations with questioning friends. It’s hard to imagine how a one-sided love could work. When we fully grasp grace, wanting to please the Father comes much more naturally. Have a great weekend Suzie!
I find myself praying that Scripture many mornings. Lord, help me to love you with all my heart, soul, and mind today.
Praying scripture is such a powerful way to communicate with our Heavenly Father. There have been times I have had no words, and yet scripture said it for me in all the right ways.
Hi, I love God with all my heart too, but I will never love Him as much as He loves me. Thanks for all that you do t encourage others.
Beautiful post, Suzie. “He’s simply asking us to love Him back.” Thank you for that. A timely reminder for me. Thank you again for hosting this beautiful space! Much love to you today.
Timely message! Thank you so much!