Just because. That’s why God loves me. (And you, too, by the way.)
I have a hard time accepting that He loves me just because. That means my worth is based on nothing I’ve done. Let’s face it. In most, if not all, of our relationships, we like each other because the other person is, at the very least, nice to us. But the Lord loves me (yes, we’re back on me) even when I’m behaving in an unlovable way.
I’ll tell you something I haven’t told too many people: I’ve screamed, “F*ck You, God!” while giving Him the finger. True story. But I’ve lived to tell the tale. Know what? He loved me even during that blasphemous tirade. (Someday I will share the entire story behind the tirade.)
The flip side of not being able to earn the Lord’s love is that we also can’t lose it. That does not mean we have carte blanche to go on murderous rampages or even gossip sprees. Why would we want to hurt the One who loves us so dearly and unconditionally? When you genuinely have a relationship with the Lord, you’re not inclined to behave in ways that displease Him.
Similar to the “you can’t earn His love” Truth is that none of our accomplishments are our own. Crushing, isn’t it? I know. I thought for the longest time that my cheerleading skills in high school were all mine. You should have seen my toe-touch jumps, splits, back handsprings, and straight wrists. I was good. Really good. Varsity-as-a-freshman good. Turns out He gave me a gift. (Yes, cheerleading is a gift! And it is also a sport! Don’t get me started on that age-old argument. I’d rather argue when life begins.)
All things were created by Him and for Him (Colossians 1:16). The only thing we can take credit for is accepting Christ as our Lord and Savior. And some argue even that is entirely predestined, a precept of the faith I do not completely subscribe to. I believe we can take credit for being obedient to the Lord, though. But even then, if we pray, “Lord, please help me be obedient to You,” who gets the credit? He does, yes? It’s a prudent idea to give God the glory in all things lest one becomes prideful. After all, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
Now comes the question of motivation. If I don’t have to do anything to garner the Creator’s love, which is the greatest love of all (sorry, Whitney, but your conclusion was not quite accurate), and if I don’t get credit for what I thought were my achievements, why bother with anything? The heart of the problem here is a big three-letter word: ego. It gets no attention!
But God is so gracious and judicious that He takes our unquenchable egos out of the equation of life by giving us unearned love and by rightfully taking credit for our accomplishments. So then what is left to do if the ego is no longer a factor? Let’s think…Let’s think…I know! Let’s look upward and outward! Let’s spend our lives glorifying God and showing gratitude: let’s pray, fellowship, spread the Good News, work hard, exercise, learn, give, enrich others’ lives with the gifts He’s given us, and celebrate life every day. Oh, and let’s love each other…just because.