One Christmas, I received a Raggedy Ann doll. I loved her from the moment I opened the package. My Raggedy Ann received my time, attention, and all the unconditional love a five-year-old could offer. Yet she offered little in return, no food or shelter, intellectual or emotional interaction, and she possessed no monetary value. Although thousands of little girls had a Raggedy Ann doll, I loved her because she was mine.
Why did I tell you this story? Because I want you to understand it is possible to experience unearned, unmerited love. Perhaps a series of relationships gone wrong have left you struggling to believe someone could love you and never leave you. Or could love you with no strings attached.
Before we move forward, take a moment to answer the following questions:
● Do I create a mental checklist of things I must do or say to qualify for love?
● Do I look for reasons not to be loved or accepted?
● Do I feel unworthy when others publicly congratulate my work or honor my accomplishments?
● Do I feel embarrassed or overwhelmed when someone throws me a surprise party?
● Do I feel guilty when given an expensive gift?
If you answered yes to more than two of the above questions, then pay close attention to the principles outlined in the next few paragraphs.
Why Does God Love Me?
“Why does God love me?” is a question I hear often from those who have experienced tremendous rejection. People who have encountered rejection can find it difficult to understand or embrace the love of God. Those who feel guilt over something they have done feel unqualified to receive His love.
God’s love is not based on our good works but on His grace. By reading 2 Corinthians 9:8 we better understand God’s love—specifically, how it comes to us in the beautifully wrapped package of grace. “And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.” If God’s love depended on our perfection, then no one would qualify for His love.
Those who have experienced the painful sting of rejection often have difficulty distinguishing their works from God’s grace. Our works, regardless of how magnificent they may seem, are incapable of earning God’s love. The truth is, “God is love” and He yearns for us to receive His undeserved love (1 John 4:8).
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Inspired by Tracey Mitchell