He loves me…He loves me not?

Loves_me_Loves_me_notI’ve talked about God’s unconditional love before on this blog. and I also put something about this in my book, Sonshift. I would like to share an excerpt here.

What I find ironic is that, while God is love, this is the one thing we struggle with most of all about Him. We make His love conditional, like He doles it out in proportion to our good behavior. If we’re good, we get more love; if we’re bad, He withholds love…or worse, hates us. In other words, we make His love…human.

We’ve made love dualistic: He loves me, He loves me not…I deserve it, I don’t deserve it…He’s near, now He’s far away, It’s a construct of human invention, born in the unrenewed minds and imaginations of men. It’s the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, not one fashioned from real encounters with the Father’s love or from biblical revelation.

I believe this lie about God’s love for us is at the bottom of our deepest darkness and why so many sincere Christians keep Him at a safe distance, even though they sincerely love Him.

After all, we want God to love us. And this is the sad irony of it all.

This is also why whenever we talk about intimacy with God, which is why He adopted us in the first place, many Christians tend to zone out. As Donald Miller put it, you might as well be talking about dragons. It’s strangely foreign and elusive to us. We have no mental grid for it, and fear blocks any vulnerability and openness we might want to muster up to actually participate in it and, thus, benefit from His transforming love.  This disconnect comes from what we believe about Love in the deepest part of our soul.

So I did my best to put this question mark about God’s love to rest in my book. The following excerpt is from chapter five, titled “Love Shift.” [Brackets added for clarity]. Here, I make the logical argument for why God’s love must be unconditional.

Sonshift_Cover_FlatAccepting that God’s love is unconditional is another Love Shift that many sincere believers need to make. You would think this is obvious and needs no further explanation since God is love, yet so many still struggle with this. In fact, some have even taught that God’s love depends on our response or behavior.

The belief that God’s love is conditional is at the root of all performance-based Christianity. This is also probably one of the most demonic lies of all because it puts a question mark on God’s emphatic declaration of His love for us.

When we create doctrines that God’s love is conditional, we’re projecting our own self-focused and fickle human distortion of love on to God. We’ve made it all about us, but God’s love is all about Him….

…John also says in the same epistle [1 John 1:7-8] that this is how we know God—if we love. We cannot know God and not know love. If we don’t love, we prove that we don’t know God.

God cannot love you anymore or any less than He loves Himself. His love is always full-on. It’s always blazing, white hot. If you want to experience more of God’s love, simply draw near and open your heart like you would warm yourself next to a fully stoked open blast furnace.

We also know from Scripture that there is no one or nothing greater than God. We also understand that unconditional love is superior to conditional love. From this biblical premise, we can know for certain that God’s love is unconditional for four reasons.

First, if God is love, He can only give love because that’s who He is. Second, God cannot have both conditional love and unconditional love. The former negates the possibility of the latter. Third, we know that God does not show any partiality in anything He does, so He doesn’t love some and not love others [Rom. 2:11]. Finally, it would be impossible for anyone to exhibit unconditional love if God’s love is conditional, because that would mean they could do something God could not, love unconditionally. I don’t think we want to make that case.

As already stated, we make God’s love conditional when our view of our relationship with Him is performance-driven. As long as we see ourselves as a dutiful slave instead of a beloved son or daughter, we won’t understand God’s unconditional love.

If we don’t know who we are, we will believe the lie of all lies that haunts the deepest part of our souls, “I must do something so that God will love me.” We might not say it in those words, but our actions and reactions say it just the same.

But God does not love like we do. This is also why we need to express His steadfast and unchanging love, instead of the fickle and thin-skinned version we’ve called love. He gave us His Spirit so we could love Him and others with His love and without our conditions. The Father declared over Jesus, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” before Jesus started His ministry. This shows that love is not dependent on performance.

Beloved child of God, your heavenly Father says the same thing over you, apart from anything you could ever do for Him. He is saying over you right now, “You are My son/daughter, in whom I am well pleased.” Can you receive it? Can you just be loved, without any need to perform or win approval?

God’s love is unconditional, which means it has no conditions.

Sonshift: Everything Changes in the Father’s Embrace (p.121-123)
© Copyright 2015—Mel Wild

NOTE: If you have read my book and have been blessed by it, please write a review on Amazon.com. I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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6 Responses to He loves me…He loves me not?

  1. Always shining a light on His love, Mel.”God does not love like we do.” The hope is we learn to love as He does by allowing help of the indwelling Spirit – Immanuel.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks, Susan. Amen, it is the hope that we learn to love with His indwelling love, and as we learn to love each other through His love, the world will finally see what Jesus meant in John 13:35 and 17:23. What an amazing thing that would be! Blessings.

  2. Cindy Powell says:

    “This is also why whenever we talk about intimacy with God, which is why He adopted us in the first place, many Christians tend to zone out. As Donald Miller put it, you might as well be talking about dragons. It’s strangely foreign and elusive to us.” Ha ha – had not heard Donald Miller say that before.. That whole paragraph helps put into words a lot of the reaction (or complete NON-reaction) I have received when talking about intimacy with God. Like Susan said, I too am grateful that you always shine the light on His love. If enough of us continue to do,that in various ways with the various expressions God gives us, perhaps more and more will ultimately experience the inexpressible for themselves. At least that is the hope and prayer 🙂 Blessings to you, Mel.

    • Mel Wild says:

      The Donald Miller reference was from his book, “To Own a Dragon,” referring to how foreign it was for him to try to understand what it would be like to have a father since he never had one. Sadly, the same disconnect happens with intimacy with God. Mostly, because this love must be experienced more than taught, but a lot of this disconnect also comes from our Western theology, which is dualistic and sterile and forensic rather than relational and intimate. That’s why I deal with some of those damaging theological ideas here on this blog. 🙂

      We don’t do relational well in our culture, but it’s my hope, too, that this will change! That something we might say on our blogs might encourage people to open their hearts to this amazing transforming love. Thanks for your encouragement, as always, Cindy. Let’s keep banging this drum until all see just how wonderful it is to dance this divine dance with Love. Blessings.

  3. Lance says:

    Mel, here is a thought (or three) God doesn’t need us to be complete in any way but He choses us to complete Him. God knows everything and since He does He choses us as His family to be fulfilled as a Father. What love to know the depth of our fear and rejection and to still live His life in us. Yay God!

    • Mel Wild says:

      Yeah, the truly scary thing about God is just how deeply He does love us! He has entered into our deepest darkness, even the places in our soul where we dare not go. Why? To make us whole, to be loved, and to have meaning. And this is because He has made us His. What a Father! Blessings.

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