Do you believe love should be earned?
If you’re in a romantic relationship or have been in one you might have asked your partner, “How much do you love me?” I know i’ve asked that question before, and have wondered about it even with friends and family. Now that I look back at it I notice how unfair that was of me to ask or even to think of such a thing. We’re human though and we all want to know that we are loved and sometimes even wonder of how much we are loved.
I’ve been reading through the book of Romans and I came across something that I constantly need reminding of. Paul writes about how the Jews had a worthy goal to honor God, but they tried to achieve it in the wrong way by rigid and painstaking obedience to the law. They thought that if they kept the law, God would have to accept them as His people. But God cannot be controlled. The Jews did’t see that their scriptures, the Old Testament, taught that salvation depended on faith, not on human effort (Romans 9:32). P.S. This doesn’t mean we’re okay to do whatever we want, we know right from wrong and the Holy Spirit will convict us and show us the way.
I say that I constantly need reminding of this because I grew up with the thought that I needed to earn love or approval from people. It makes sense why scripture also teaches us to be careful with our words. I’m not blaming my parents or other influences I had as a kid by any means because I know they didn’t mean harm, but I remember sometimes hearing, “I won’t love you anymore if you do or don’t do this…” And as kids, it’s so easy to believe that this would be true.
Some of you might know that I grew up Catholic and many of you can relate in how we are raised to follow rules and become baptised as babies, first communion, and confirmation to later on marriage in most cases. Well I don’t know if this happened to you, but for me that gave me the impression that I had to do all of these things to be accepted by God, but as I continue to study and learn more about God I realize that that’s so far from the truth. God asks for humility and obedience, just like Christ lived and modeled for us throughout His life.
Human effort, no matter how sincere, can never substitute for the righteousness God offers us by faith. The only way to earn salvation is to be perfect and that’s impossible! We can only hold out our empty hands and receive salvation as a gift (Romans 10:3-5). Christ accomplished the purpose for which the law was given in two ways: He fulfills the purpose and goal of the law (Matthew 5:17) in that He perfectly exemplified God’s desires on Earth. But He is also the termination of the law because in comparisons to Christ, the law is powerless to save.
It’s so easy to question God’s love for us. When everything is going well in our lives we truly believe God loves us. But when things go wrong, even though we can still believe it is true, we question how much He truly loves us. The same goes in relationships. We’re tempted to question each others love when things aren’t all chocolate and roses, but love is a choice we make for better or for worst. Grace can’t be earned.
God doesn’t love me more because I write Christian blogs nor is it my ticket to heaven, nor does He love me less because I work as a barber and not in a Church. Our gifts and talents are from God. He welcomes us to come to Him in prayer, asking Him to help us use our gifts and talents for his glory.
YOU ARE LOVED and salvation is as close as your own lips and heart. We may think this must be a complicated process, but it’s not. If we believe in our heart and say with our mouth that Christ is the risen Lord, we will be saved (Romans 10:8-12).
Trust God, and Do Good 🙂