The title to this post was hard for me to write because it hurt me to write it. I honestly don’t feel like God has done anything to not deserve my love. In fact, I think God is pretty amazing. Everything I know about Him has been positive and I stand in awe of His character in comparison to my own. So, what do I mean when I say I don’t love Him?
Well, I’ve been finding in my life that it’s been very hard for me to be faithful to the relationship I have with God. Porn has been one part of that. But, the truth is my unfaithfulness extends to many areas of my life. I’ve known this for quite a while and I’ve been searching for the answer to how I might be faithful to Him for just as long or longer.
I recently read something in one of my morning devotions that really caught my attention. It said, “The uncertain experience of many professed Christians–sinning and repenting and continuing in the same dwarfed spiritual condition–is the result of worldliness and unholiness of life.” I have to admit that my Christian experience has been plagued by “sinning and repenting and continuing in the same dwarfed spiritual condition.” Especially in some of my areas of most weakness. So, it kind of hurt to internalize what I consider to be factual–that I have “worldliness and unholiness of life”. I don’t like to consider myself “worldly” and “unholy”. Those phrases are supposed to pertain to those problem people in the church–not me! But, they do pertain to me and I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.
Why is it that I love to spend time watching worldly movies, going out to eat, going shopping or something. There are a lot of things I do that are just kind of “worldly”. But, I often find it hard to want to sit down and read spiritual things, I really don’t like church much, I resist spiritual things and kind of find much of it to be boring… Why is that? (Please don’t misunderstand this paragraph to mean that I think that it’s only Christian to sit around reading the Bible all day–that’s not what I’m trying to say).
I’ve known this about myself for some time. I’ve tried to remedy my condition by intentionally force-feeding myself spiritual things and cutting out all “worldly” stuff. But, I didn’t find I was enjoying it. I felt isolated and lonely. It never really became fun. It was then that I realized that I don’t love God!! I love other things more than Him. Although I would profess to love Him, I don’t enjoy spending time with Him really. That truth was very cutting to me.
More recently, I came to some realizations that I’ve found important. I think I’ve spent a lot of time trying to love God more. That hasn’t worked. The Bible says, “We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19. There is a principle at work that basically goes “love awakens love”. Before we can really love God, we have to first understand His love for us. Although I would intellectually agree to the statement that God loves me, I’m not sure in my heart of hearts that I have truly believed it to be true. I think I have always felt that God can’t love someone like me because I am unfaithful to Him. Plus, I have a lot of character flaws that God just couldn’t like. I have tended to feel that God only loves me when I’m at the top of my game. Many feel that way.
But, over and over in my life God has confirmed to me that He DOES love me–regardless! I’ve seen His love for me time and time again. I’ve also read of it in Scripture. So, something I’ve been contemplating is that it’s very important, if I want to love God, to begin to accept His unconditional love for me. I also need to spend more time being aware of it and appreciating it and less time trying to earn it or be worthy of it.
I do think it’s important to be faithful to God, but I think that becomes a result of when we are so in love with Him that it hurts us to hurt Him. I think that kind of love for God comes from when we realize just how much we are loved by Him. What do you think?