Do We Really Want To Be Loved?

            Many people say that all they want in life is to be loved.  This may be true for some of them, but what most of them mean is that they want to be “accepted.” This is not the same thing. To be loved is to be looked out for by someone who sincerely cares for you and desires to know you intimately.  To be accepted means to have a friendship with someone who allows you to do pretty much whatever you wish. This person will let you “be yourself” without interference. All they ask in return is that you let them “be theirself” as well.

            The problem with this is that “being yourself” will often cause pain to yourself or others. When we say that we are “being ourselves,” we usually mean that we are being selfish, hateful, or greedy. When we take something that belongs to another person, we are “being ourself.” When we feed our lusts through porn, we are “being ourself.” When we leave the dishes for our spouse to do even when we know that they are busier than us today, we are “being ourself.”

            Someone who truly loves you will not encourage this kind of behavior.  In fact, they will do the utmost in their ability to convince you to change it. This is the kind of love that many of us do not want. We do not want to be told that we are hurting other people or ourselves, even if we know it is the case. We want, instead, for the person we “love” to let us get away with playing the victim at all times, pretending to always be hurt by others but never causing harm.  Then, if this fails, we accuse them of being responsible for the very pain which we ourselves caused, simply because they pointed it out!  We tell them that they’re the real villains because they don’t let us do what we want.

            Many people have this same attitude in their relationship with God. They claim they believe in a “loving” God who would never hurt them. What they really mean is that they believe in an indifferent God, who would never allow them to experience harm, even when they harm someone else. But God is not like this.  God really, truly, loves them, and as a result He does not want them to continue in their sins. So He makes them feel guilty and provides a way for them to repent and change. In fact, He loved them so much that He sent His son to die for them.

            But people do not want this kind of love. This kind of love is embarrassing.  It hurts our egos for us to admit that we are so wicked that God Himself had to come down to Earth to die for us.  This act of love on His part condemns us for our selfishness towards others. So instead of accepting His gift, we claim that we don’t need it, and that God will accept us just the way we are.

            But we are wrong. We need Him very badly.

(Romans 5:8)  “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

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