The morning sun rises slowly as the colors of the sky change on the white puffy clouds that streamline the horizon. I am astonished every morning I get up, drink my coffee, and watch the wonder of God's creation come to life again and again, morning after morning.
"God, thank You for creating such a beauty for us. Thank You for all You do for us.” Then I stop and think, "Do I love God because He is good, kind, loving, and because He is who He is, or do I love God because He is good to ME?”
If I love God just because He is good to me then I am simply using God for my gain and/or purposes. But if I love God simply because of who He is then I am not looking to gain anything from Him. Do I gain anything from the relationship? Absolutely, yes. But what I gain is not the motivation for the relationship. I am drawn to Him because of who He is, not what He can do.
When my girls were young, we had the best time together. We laughed and played. We played pretend all the time. I told them stories every night. They were young and couldn’t do much for themselves. They needed me and their mom. They could do nothing for us as far as meeting any of our needs physically, financially, etc., but our love for them was strong and still is. We didn’t need nor want anything from them other than their love; they gave it abundantly, and we the same. Nothing has changed except that they don’t need us anymore, but still want to be with us. Why? Because we love each other. We don’t just need each other.
Does God NEED my love? No! Does God WANT my love? Yes. A thousand times, yes! That makes all the difference in the world. I am wanted, not just needed.
If the foundation of your relationships is based on need, then let me pose this question to you: What happens when you don't need them anymore? Husbands, wives, children, co-workers, etc. Their value to you is based on their usefulness to you. Ooh! Not the way I would want to be valued.
We live in a highly sophisticated, technological, and economically-driven society and when things and/or people are not beneficial or useful we simply get rid of them, phase them out, let them go, retire them, or replace them. I applaud our innovative and entrepreneurial spirit and the stewardship of our resources in a wise and beneficial way. However, people and relationships are not to be viewed as such. We have taken our cues from the culture in which we live instead of taking our cues from what God says and how He views things.
Our value to God is not based on our usefulness to Him, but simply because it is His nature to love. He can't help but love us. We are not worthy, nor do we deserve it. But, He just does.
Oswald Chambers once said, "Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him." So, the next time someone "ticks" you off, makes you mad, hurts you with their words or actions, or their "usefulness" comes to an end, remember to love them for who they are, not for what they can do. We give love. We don't make people earn it.