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Monday Motivation: You Can Never Earn Love

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” – Psalm 118:1, NIV

Sara’s mother was emotionally abusive. When Sara was growing up, her mom would withhold affection and comfort if Sara did something she didn’t like. Sara tried to please her mom but she never received the support and kindness she so desperately longed for.

Sara was left feeling like she had to earn the love of those around her. She spent a lot of her time trying to be good enough. She worked hard on every project to prove herself. She was quick to help others in the hopes that they would like her.

Then one day, she joined a local quilting group. She did it because she had always been interested in various craft. What she found was a group of tight-knit women who poured into her. She began to receive the affection and motherly advice she’d craved for years.

As she allowed herself to bloom, Sara began to understand that God’s love for her wasn’t like her mom’s. God’s love for her was unconditional and unchanging.

His love didn’t depend on her actions or inactions. It wasn’t something that would be taken away if she made a mistake or had a bad day. God’s love was always there for her, no matter what…

God, thank You for loving me unconditionally. Sometimes, I struggle with this concept. Remind me when I’m feeling alone that Your affection doesn’t depend on my actions.

You may be wondering, I have diabetes. What does this have to do with me? The story tells us that Sara worked hard to earn her mother’s love but she never did. You may be struggling to lose weight or to look a certain way to please others, and your efforts may not be paying off. In fact, knocking yourself out to please others can lead to stress, which can lead to diabetes and other illnesses.

Like Sara, you should turn to doing the things that interest you. Do it for yourself, not for others, and you will see your dreams become a reality. And while you’re doing that, remember there is one Person you never have to work to please, and that is God. He loves and accepts you just the way you are. Simply surrender everything to Him–your life, your hopes, your fears– and let Him take control.

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Walking In Love

Her face radiated joy as she spoke about the change that came over her when she accepted Christ as her Savior. She said, “Before that, I was a mess. I knew I loved my daughter and those around me, but I had no idea how to express that love. As a result, my marriage broke up, and I almost lost my daughter as well.” Thankfully, Judy (not her real name) is learning how to give and receive love.

The Bible has a lot to say about love. In fact, some call it God’s love letter to us. When you read the Bible, you see how much God love us. He loves us so much that He sacrificed His only Son to redeem us back to Him. And He teaches us how we are to love.  In John 13:34, Jesus states, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” He continues, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (13:35)

There are many more verses in the Bible concerning love. One of the best known – 1 Corinthians 13 – forms part of some wedding vows and is usually referred to as the Love Chapter. In verse 4 it says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” Look at how many qualities it covers in just one sentence. If we observe and try to live out those qualities in our daily lives, think how much happier we would be.

As Judy spoke about learning to love, she shared about her bout with depression. By not walking in love, we can become impatient, unkind, envious, boastful and proud – factors that contribute to us making bad decisions that can eventually lead to ill health. Have you noticed how angry some people are? They are obviously not walking in love.

As you move along your pathway to health and wholeness, examine your love life. Oh, I’m not talking about romance. I’m talking about what’s in your heart. Is it full of love for your fellow man? Or is it full of pride, envy and all the negative qualities mentioned above? We may not be aware that we are carrying around these things, but if we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what we need to get rid of, He will reveal them and He will cleanse us of them. Try it. God bless.