I, like many young people, wondered from an early age if I would marry one day. More than that, I believe my deepest longing was to be loved. Would someone love ME?

Yesterday we discovered that before anything was created, God already loved humans and chose them to be holy in his sight. So even though the creation of the physical world occurs prior to the creation of humans, it was all put together with us in mind. Exactly the right atmosphere and gravity and sunlight to sustain human life. All thought out. All well done.

So here we are living in a perfect environment with one charge — love others as I have loved you. (1 John 4:21) Seems easy right?! Except it isn’t always. As I reflect on what makes it difficult for me to reach out in love to others, it almost always comes back to the same problem. Am I experiencing love myself? Do I know the love of the Father? Love of family and friends? Am I secure in who I am? Do I live with the nagging feeling I deserve punishment?

17And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. . . 18Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19We love each other because he loved us first.

1 John 4:17-19

The problem isn’t if I am loved or if I can love others — both are true and possible. The problem lies in knowing I am deeply loved then resting securely in that love. From this place of security, I love others well, without fear of punishment or shame.

If you find yourself struggling to give love, look closely at how well you receive love, specifically from your Creator. Begin there — turn on the light and see what might be in the way of receiving love. Find a spiritual mentor, expose the lies and replace it with the truth. Truth that you are deeply loved!

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