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  • Angela Ackley

Love is complicated

Love is a weird thing. I think in it’s purest form its beautiful…you know, the kind of love that is described in the Bible. Love is patient, love is kind, slow to anger, covers a multitude of sin. I think it would all do us good to really understand God’s definition of love because I truly think that in our humanness, we tend to distort what love really means.

Now of course, I didn’t just pull this out of the air. If I’m writing about it, you have to know that I’ve been struggling with it. In my Bible study this morning, Priscilla Shirer (in Discerning the Voice of God) wrote the following:

“God is the prize. The prize is NOT his direction, his guidance, his clarity, his comfort, his relief, his encouragement.”

The prize is NOT what God gives us. The prize is God. All of these wonderful things; his direction, guidance, clarity, comfort, relief, encouragement, come along with knowing God, but these things are not CONDITIONAL on His love for us. God LOVES us regardless of all the things that He gives us or doesn’t give us.

Love is not defined by what we get or don’t get. Love is not conditional. Love overlooks all of that. It doesn’t look at successes or failures or accolades or mistakes or awards or titles or wrong turns or destructive behavior. Love is the thread that keeps us all connected with one another despite all those other things.

Just this morning, God revealed to me that for so many years, subconsciously, I believed that God loved me based on what He gives me. That I been believing a lie that “I know that I am in His good graces and loved as long as He keeps giving me good things.” I see now that is so wrong. He loves me because He loves me, not because of what He gives me (or what I’ve done for Him, or because of my title, or for my successes, or for how good I am).

In turn, with that thinking, I have subconsciously been doing the same back to God. I have been trying to be “good” for Him. Been trying to perform for Him. Been trying to do good things so that He knows that I love Him.

And if I’m really honest, this new definition of love has made me realize that I may not be loving those around me as I should.

Jesus, please continue to show me your purest definition of love and help me to love those around me just as you love me. Thank you for not loving me conditionally on how much I do and how “good” I am. You love me the same no matter what I do or do not do. Thank you for being the PERFECT Father and PERFECT teacher. Amen.

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