#DailyProverbs 1 John 4:7-12: "Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love. And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him. This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven. Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another. No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us."
The world hurts. We don't really know what to do anymore in so many situations. We aren't sure of the changes that occur, the progress society makes, or how we fit in anymore as we get older. Many people cannot process love. They cannot accept love from themselves, from others, or from God. Basically, people simply can't believe that the Lord loves them. Of we twist and pervert God's love in our interpretation of how He loves us, and we pass that twisted, perverted love to others when we believe that He loves them, but only when they are pleasing Him in some way.
Why is it so hard for us to accept His unconditional love?
The main reason is that we assume God is anthropomorphically human. We attribute Him to be human, because he made us. But God ISN'T human, Jesus is God in Flesh and even from the foundations of the universal creation, he isn't bound by our mental and emotional reasoning. Because we think Jesus is human-like, we assume that He, like us, has a hard time loving others without condition. We might say the words "I love you" to our spouse, children, friends, co-workers, or fellow believers; but, all too often we are calculating in our mind whether or not they've lived up to our standard. We sometimes excuse ourselves from loving certain people because their behavior upsets or annoys us. The fact that we place restrictions on extending love and favor causes us to incorrectly assume that the Lord does likewise. We are wrong. We are not like Jesus, and we don't love like Jesus. Jesus loves us all, unconditionally. Even those you judge and condemn... Jesus can still love and save.
Another valid, but less-often true, reason is poor self-image. Most people give themselves a pass, even when they hold others to a standard. That's human nature... we want to be judged on our INTENT vs. our actions. But we always judge others on their ACTIONS vs. their intent. Probably because actions still cause us issues, detours and pain. But we want others to consider that for us. However, considering ourselves unworthy, we refuse to accept God's love. And you know what? That is very true. Not one of us is worthy of Jesus' goodness and mercy—so you can let go of that excuse once and for all. We're not coming to Him based on our worth, our works, our standards, our actions, or even our love... Rather, we're coming to Jesus based on His grace, and because of His love, grace, and mercy extended to us as created humanity, our position is secure in Christ. To put yourself down as "beneath His grace" is to trample and denigrate His quite generous gift. God arranged an awesome divine way for us to be reconciled to Him, and His greatest desire is for relationship with each of us.
If you feel unloved, or even if you just struggle to understand or accept yourself, begin to understand that only through Christ are we worthy, and only through Christ can your acceptance and peace be complete. Receive the truth that He reveals. It will be a completely different story about your value as an individual.