The Paradox of God’s Love

We love, because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19 (NASV)

1. Love is the main force and identity of God.
2. God created love and freely gives it away.
3. The world makes love a “commodity,” only available to those who are worthy by their standards, or who can afford it.
4. The world tries to hide and undo the concept of grace.
5. Our nature tries to hold love as a conditional reward that we can control.
6. God draws us to love through His grace.

We all search for love. Love is THE driving force of life. “Love makes the world go ‘round.” A small part of an old Broadway tune, it’s recognizable to generations. The idea that love is the central force in the world is not a surprise, authors and composers know that love is the major theme for drama, as it is in all relationships.

No wonder it is the central identity of God. The world shifts the central identity of God just a bit, where love becomes just a part of life, not the major driving force of meaning for life on earth. It becomes recreational, a driving marketing tool or a commodity to sell and exchange. Love labeled as an attraction, without meaning. It’s amazing that people settle for a life with such little meaning. That is the character of evil. To limit our expectation and vision of how much God loves us. To convince us that God is disappointing.
 In the process of psychotherapy, good mental health moves towards healing broken inner parts of a person’s emotional self. Attaching and restoring broken parts is healing. We are subtly encouraged through the influences of the world, to set love in a disconnected place. Love is seen as something to be obtained, earned and worked for, to be “good enough” for. Love was meant to be a part of us, within us, powering us. For love to be separate from us is part of the culture of narcissism and pride, to be the “best a man can be,” to accumulate enough wealth, power or fame, or to be the most beautiful in order to have wealth, power or fame. If we’re good enough, we may be loved.

The world promises love for the “deserving privileged,” and is sold as something not available to the general public. It is revered but separated from us to some lofty, unattainable goal “in the clouds.” We chase after an empty promise of the most valuable, while it is nearby all along. We are led farther away from what we need and want. This falls in our nature, to think we can “earn” love and control how we get it. This is a lie. It is not to be controlled. God gives love freely, graciously.

Fashion models, athletes and celebrities can and often do “have it all,” but ultimately, if they are not fulfilled and loved, they are, (surprise), humans like everyone else. They often find that “having it all” makes them more isolated and alone, and harder to be loved intimately and deeply. The position of high wealth and fame makes it as hard to find love as getting a “camel through the eye of a needle.”

Christian belief in God’s sovereignty and His identity as the creator and source of all real love allows for being “true,” on the mark for love. Being loved truly doesn’t depend on our efforts or our control. Our genetics, intelligence, wealth, health, power, beauty or any “work” on our part, makes no difference whether or not we can be loved. All we “do” is to choose to enter the relationship, and accept the gift. To be part of the family and surrender our selves, is no small choice, with no small consequence. To respond to the “still small voice” and choose a relationship with God, opens the door to all that the world is searching for but runs away from. Love that is healthy, affirming, and powerful enough to move the world, is not separate from us, not something to work hard for or be “good enough” to achieve and deserve. True love is connecting, integrating and restoring, inspiring and exhilarating. Love is here, within, right now. Love from God is the true power that makes the “world go ‘round,” and it’s free, if we choose the gift.

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