At what point do you allow yourself to love another? What do others have to do to earn your love? How much do they have to do before you give them affection? Are people required to think or behave a certain way before you open your heart to them? In short, is your love based on performance? If so, why? Where did you learn that from, especially since, we are designed for love? What do you have to do in order to gain God’s love?
Sometimes questions help us gain insight and self-awareness. With the help of Holy Spirit, we can begin to change by taking an honest look at ourselves and make adjustments where necessary. These types of questions often initiate repentance and the renewal of our mind. Furthermore, it helps in the healing process of our heart, soul, and mind, and that includes our emotions. With that being said, here are a few more questions.
What do you expect in return for acts of love or service? Are there strings attached to your gifts? Those strings may not be the proverbial tit for tat; rather, they could be aimed at gaining affirmation. It’s the expected gesture of gratitude and appreciation. Perhaps, it is more about the sense of worth. Maybe, it is simply to earn love. Please understand that there is no indictments being handed out here, but from whom did you learn that? These are simply points for the sake of clarity. Sometimes, people are stuck in old mindsets, and they’re frustrated with themselves because they feel they should be further long with loving people well. In their view, because they received Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, things should be completely different, especially when it comes to love. Granted, some things have changed for the better; but not everything. Understand that in Jesus Christ all things are surely new (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). It is a matter of our thought process catching up with our spirit. Let’s see if we can untangle of few thoughts. Be brave!
When you were younger (perhaps even now), whose affection did you crave the most? That doesn’t necessarily mean you loved him or her the most; it was their attention you desired. It could be your Mom, Dad or someone else. In order to gain that affection, what did you have to become or do? Were you successful? Do you still feel the same way? If you felt unsuccessful back then, you still may be struggling to succeed today, even if that was a different era altogether. That inner turmoil could still exist, if it was left unresolved. Some felt they had to perform for love, or obtain some form of perfection. Of course, others didn’t. The point is that some of us had these dynamics so ingrained, it makes it difficult to freely give and receive love.
For you perfectionists, do you find yourself still feeling unworthy of love? You do understand that perfection is not obtainable from a human perspective? Perfection can only be found in Jesus Christ. When you accept your position in Him, you’ll be free from the daunting task of “being perfect.”
God’s love is perfect; unfortunately, many haven’t perfectly experienced it for themselves. They only know the imperfect form which falls woefully short of His. Consequently, unmerited love is a foreign concept. People tend to shun or even fear what they don’t understand. We are comfortable with the familiar -good or bad. It is the new things we may have a hard time wrapping our minds around. However, the more we are exposed to the new or profound, the more comfortable we are with it, and the more we are able to receive or accept it. The more mindful of God you become, and the more quality time you spend with Him, the more His love becomes real to you. The more you accept His love, and as result, accept yourself, the more you will be accepting of others. Love is not bound by fear; it eradicates it. 1 John 4:18-19 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love Him, because He first loved us. The more you love people, the less fearful of them you will be. Freedom in Christ empowers you to love others freely!