Receiving God's Love
“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him.” 1 John 4:16-17
Those who have not experienced unconditional love may have a hard time believing that God loves them. Conditional love is not God’s kind of love. Conditional love is based on performance and expectations. You may have experienced conditional love when someone had an expectation of how they thought you should perform. If you performed to meet their expectations, then you were accepted and affirmed. If love is measured by how well you meet someone’s expectations, then you will never feel loved. You can never measure up. Conditional love is based on measuring.
Unconditional love flows and cannot be measured. It is like a flowing river that never stops. It would be silly to go to the Mississippi River and try to measure the amount of water in it at a given moment.
Many people today struggle with feeling unloved, and they do not know why. The reason is because they have not fully experienced unconditional love before, which is God’s kind of love. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out all fear.” When you receive God’s love, perfect love, you do not have to fear measuring up again.
Why do so many people struggle with feeling like God doesn’t love them? The heart must be soft, much like the soil of a garden, in order to receive love. It is easier for a child to believe that God loves them than an adult. Their heart is soft because they have not had years of heartache. A garden must be tilled to make the soil soft so a seed can be planted. The heart that has only experienced conditional love will grow harder as the years go by. Some people eventually give up and say, “Why do I even try?”
If your heart has grown hard, then it will need to be tilled like a garden so you can receive love again. As the heart is tilled, the rocks and roots are removed and the soul gets softer. The tilling brings about healing. A healed heart will not be afraid when love comes close. A healed heart begins to open up and receive God’s love, and then give love to others.