by Aleta Kay
The quick answer is selfishness. That sounds judgmental, doesn’t it? The fact is, even in our most personal relationships, we are critical, judgmental, and are prone to jump to conclusions. No wonder people don’t want to hear about God. Because of our own pre-conceived ideas, because of our demand for independence and refusal to let anyone tell us what to do, we have decided that God is a cosmic ogre, waiting for any excuse to beat us over the head and put us in a chute straight to hell. It is our choice to believe this, and it is not so.
The truth is, we don’t want to give up our own agenda, our own independence. We want people to conform to what we want. We want others to treat us by our own standards, in the manner and time frame we choose, then left alone. Let’s see. That would be like our kids only calling home when they want something, but when they are doing fine on their own, never hearing from them. How would you feel if your kids treated you that way? Yet, that’s how we treat other people and God.
We allow ourselves to wallow in hurt feelings and bitterness. We nurture those memories and throw them out as a gauntlet every time that person hurts or disappoints us again. We don’t want to be treated this way, yet that’s how we treat others, especially those we claim to love the most. Genuine love does not behave this way. This is self-centeredness.
Our relationships on earth are a picture of our relationship with God. I John 4:7-11 says, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not knows not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (substitute payment) for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” In other words, because of God’s great love for us, it is impossible for us to truly love others if we don’t love God. God puts his love in our hearts, to pour out on others, when we allow him to love us.