Sometimes, it’s hard for me to accept that God loves us all the same way, regardless of our behavior or accomplishments. I totally believe He does love us unconditionally, but *accepting* it is a different story.
I know Jesus loves everyone, you and me included, just for existing! Not because we can do Him a favor, not because of our jobs, status, friends, money, education, looks. His love is a total gift.
And I love that! But…..
“It’s not Fair”
Sometimes I feel like it’s not fair that He loves promiscuous women as much as chaste ones or thieves as much as those who rightfully pay for what they have. That he loves the felons in jail as much as He loves the most righteous person. That He loves the woman who cheated on her husband the same way He loves the faithful bride. He adores the lazy student who barely gets by as much as the straight-A student.
Sometimes, I get frustrated knowing I get no extra love for being a good citizen.
Sometimes I feel like it’s unjust that God loves me and some self-centered Instagram-obsessed girl I don’t even know the same.
“Excuse me, I’m more (insert positive adjective here) than her!”
But I know that if God loved in that way, then His love would have to be earned, instead of just received by us – and that wouldn’t be love at all.
I’m laughing as I write this because I imagine God looking down, chuckling and shaking His head, thinking something along the lines of, “Victoria you can’t even begin to know how infinite MY love is. And don’t forget, you are human, too (aka you’re not perfect).”
I’ve prided myself (perhaps too much) on being a “good” person worthy of God’s (and my parents’) love.
Intellectually, I’ve been living under the lie that God’s love is earned. I have to remind myself daily to simply RECEIVE His love.
I didn’t always know God’s love was freely given. When I was a teen and then when I was in college, I didn’t even think that much about it. I was too focused on earning love and attention from humans.
A part of me wishes God’s love was only for me!
I don’t like thinking that I have to share this awesome love. It makes me feel special to think that God delights in my existence alone.
Now, I know I’m totally limited by my human brain in terms of trying to understand the magnificence of God’s love. Even with my greatest imagination, I know I won’t ever grasp the totality of His love on this Earth – how He could love all of us abundantly!
But I do know His love is life-giving and there’s nothing selfish about love.
It would make no sense at all for me to want to keep His love to myself or not want others to feel it. Love, by its definition, is fruitful.
It’s my own brokenness and insecurity that sometimes makes me want to feel like I’m the only one He loves.
The thing is, I actually do want everyone to know and feel God’s love – what a wonderful world it would be! It would heal a lot of brokenness. I pray for my family, friends, co-workers and strangers to know Him, love Him, and to know they are unconditionally loved by Him.
There was a moment in college where I really acknowledged to myself how frustrated I was with the fact that God loves us all the same.
In my senior year, I was volunteering at a pro-life crisis pregnancy center. One day, I was lamenting to the nurse about how overwhelmed I felt. I put so much pressure on myself to accomplish a lot, get great grades and “be a good person.”
I remember her telling me God loved me regardless of all of that – and His love was always available to anyone at anytime.
Instead of feeling comfort, I felt anger at the thought that my roommate, who took fewer credits, got worse grades and didn’t have a part-time job, was loved the same by Our Lord as I was.
Wait! I thought. Why am I doing all of this if God would love me the same if I were a couch potato?!
Unfortunately, the nurse’s well-intentioned words left me feeling gipped. I was used to a meritocracy for Love, not socialism.
Coming to understand the inclusivity of God’s love left me wondering why I’ve pursued the things I have my whole life.
If I no longer have to earn love, or rather realized I NEVER had to in the first place, then that leaves me free to do things I actually love instead of things I just think will earn me praise or attention.
I didn’t realize this until some I experienced very tough times post-graduation! I had to re-program how I approached what I did — and I’m still going through that process more than 3 years later.
I realized the way I acted when I was trying to earn love was a bit far off from how I would’ve acted had I known I was loved all along.
For example, I competed in a beauty pageant in college. I thought that if I could win, then my beauty would be affirmed and I’d have a crown, which would give me a sense of notoriety and prestige. Well, I lost. I knew I really didn’t want to be in the pageant world anyway, but I was grasping at anything that would make me feel loved.
If I could go back, I’d pull my 20-year-old self aside and say, “You’re enough. You don’t need to do this. You don’t need validation. You are loved. That is your essence.”
What I do Know
I know I’m not the only person who has sought validation in all the wrong places.
My girlfriends have confided in me that they, too, thought love was something your earn. This for that. Transactional. So I can only believe that so many other young women and older women struggle with this, too.
But I do know that Christ wants everyone to experience His love. It is an eternal feast.
It’s a work in progress for me. At the end of the day I could nitpick all the things I want to improve as a person. Sometimes, lying in bed, I say, “Jesus just take me as I am. Let me rest in Your abundant Love and not feel like I need to fix anything about myself.” It is so refreshing!
You are not a home improvement project to God; You are His masterpiece. Thankfully, God doesn’t have favorites. He loves us all the same, as crazy as that is to comprehend. I’m so glad God gives me a chance to experience that everyday.