One of the top human fears is not being loved. And when we fear not being loved by God, by our Creator, life might as well be over. Love is a mysterious thing among human beings. It is said to be unconditional in its truest form, without boundaries, and limitless. In 1 Corinthians 13 we hear that love is patient and kind and does not boast; it is not selfish or arrogant. But what about love from God?
Like a parent, it is impossible for God to un-love any of God’s children. Indeed, in the Bible, John the Evangelist says simply: God is love. Nothing more needs to be said. For God to not love means God would cease to exist. So why can it be so difficult to know we are loved by God? Because we don’t know how to receive God’s love.
In human relationships, and perpetuated by stereotypes of love on TV and in movies, when one person says “I love you” the other is expected to respond, “I love you, too.” This expectation has become a norm and oddly enough, the recipient of the first person’s love doesn’t fully acknowledge the gift given. Instead he or she fulfils the cultural expectation and bounces back with, “I love you, too.” It’s why in the movies (and in real life) when someone says I love you and the other, not having the same feelings, awkwardly responds the same even though their feelings don’t match. Or they freak out.
Though it seems strange, the best response to someone telling you they love you is “Thank you.” That response says, “Thank you! I receive this gift from you and cherish it!” Adding an “I love you” is fine, but first receiving the love is most important.
When do we truly allow ourselves to receive God’s love? When do we acknowledge it and affirm it?
Try this: In prayer, allow yourself to receive God’s love by saying, “God, you love me.” There’s no need to say I love you; just acknowledge that God loves you, and receive it. Relish this truth. God, you love me. Thank you.
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Music by Kevin MacLeod