Can someone earn love? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
There is a thought I have been pondering lately about the love of God. When I hear someone complain about the God of the Old Testament and the claims of genocide and such, I always ask what God owes anyone. After all, does God anyone any moment of life whatsoever? God can take anyone’s life and be just in doing so.
What about us today in the times since the New Testament? What are we owed? Necessarily, nothing. The only thing God will have to give us is something that He has promised us, not because we deserve it, but rather because He is a covenant God who keeps His promises.
What about love? We live in a society where love is often conditional, which makes sense since we are fallen human beings. This is a world where too often marriages fall apart. We often have a hard time thinking that there is love that is unconditonal.
There is. This does not mean some sort of universalism where everyone gets accepted into heaven in the end then because God loves everyone. God loves them and respects their choice to want nothing to do with Him in this life and be excluded from the blessings of the covenant. God being loving does not mean a warm sentimentality where everyone gets to feel good about themselves in the end.
This also puts us in a strange position since we are used to earning love. Today, we have to win someone’s heart for their affections. In a sense, this is understandable. After all, you don’t give your heart to just anyone. There are degrees of trust in relationship and love never means putting up with abuse.
With God, it’s vastly different. The love is unconditional. This doesn’t mean we get special privileges for being a Christian either. We can spend ages in the presence of God and we still will not deserve the love of God. After all, that would mean that at some point God owes us His love. He won’t. He doesn’t.
Love from God is always a gift. It is based more on who He is. The idea of Scripture is while we were enemies, God still loved us and gave His Son for us. We can never make up for it. We can never do enough good that it is owed. Love is not ever going to be a debt just as grace and forgiveness aren’t debts.
How this works out on a horizontal level is more difficult, but it is the kind of love that we should strive for. We can often put conditions on love that are needless to make sure that we are protected. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to hurt, but we can be so protective we also cut off love.
But when you pray, please keep in mind that love is not earned. God’s love for you is always a gift. You will never just be so awesome and special that you will deserve the love of God. After all the ages, you will still not deserve the love of God. God will always be giving you a gift in the gift of Himself.
Keep in mind you also never lose the love. The love is always a gift. A gift is not earned. It is freely given. Enjoy the gift.