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« Jesus Is the Source of Your Happiness | Main | Your Emotional Relationship: Jesus as Counselor »

Love is the Overarching Truth.

(Continuation of “The Emotional Relationship).

The children’s song, “Yes, Jesus Loves Me,” is still one of the most powerful melodies of the Christian faith.  To those who have seldom, if ever, heard the words, “I love you,” that simple phrase should become the foundation of their existence.  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:13. Emotions that have been damaged by abuse, exploitation, dysfunction, tragedy, or loss need the affirmation of someone’s love.  Other kinds of therapy have their place, but love sets the stage for everything else that follows.  

During my pastoral years, I failed to persuade a lonely man that Jesus loved him.  We talked for hours at a time and discussed all kinds of strategies for him to find peace.  He knew his father hated him, and he wasn’t sure if his mother really loved him.  He had lots of stories of emotional abuse and neglect. He was intelligent and was a skilled workman, but his demeanor was cold, he had few friends, and he was in and out of relationships.  He wasn’t an alcoholic, but he often resorted to drink to get through his day.  He freely admitted to me that he drank and was dispassionate about the admission. It was apparent to me that his refusal to accept Christ’s love sabotaged every attempt I made to help him.  I am convinced that a right relationship with Jesus must begin with the acknowledgment of His pure and unconditional love for every person.  

Love, then, is the great umbrella that covers all the elements of our relationship with God.  To mention this may seem redundant, but too many Christians live their lives in an obedience, duty or self-will mode.  They view love as a weak motivation, or as a bonus emotion that you’re lucky to have if you can get it.  But, this was the major theme of the Apostle John’s epistle.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 John 4:8-10. 

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