A Time for Reflection

Welcome back this week! It’s January and for most of us, hunting season is over. This is a great time of year to reflect back over our season.

Would you describe your season as a success or as a failure? Did you get what you went hunting for or did you sit in a treestand ignored by all the creatures?

Now, let’s take the opportunity to use your hunting season as a example of a great lesson in human relationships. As we have seen over past weeks, we are all created with a God-given need to be loved. Our Abba Father has given us this Zoe life, which brings with it His unconditional love. That need of ours to be loved has been met!

So, what will dictate my behavior is not whether I am loved or not, because I am, but whether I believe the reality that I am loved unconditional by Him. If I don't know this to be true, or if I don’t believe it, or when I forget it - the only reasonable thing for me to do is feebly try to somehow get the need met. We all have heard the phrase "lookin' for love in all the wrong places"- well, I'm here to say that any place you're lookin' for love other than Abba is the wrong place! When we do that, for many of us it looks like hunting. We get the right equipment, go to the right spot, we don't smell bad, we don't make scary noises, and off we go looking for that trophy!

Now, I don't know about you, but in my world growing up, that looked like having my hair look good, nice clothes, and a cool car - you get the picture. Then off we go hunting for the prettiest girl, who, if she would just say yes to me, would make me feel loved and important. I would take her to dinner, open doors for her, be a gentleman, all to win her approval. I would do all this and more because I was certain, deep down, that if I didn't perform in these ways, she wouldn't love me. I was giving her at least the majority of the ballots and whichever way she voted determined my value.

Needless to say, this approach is full of problems. Let's look at a few; first, if she didn't respond in a favorable way, I was crushed and more convinced than ever I was unacceptable. Second, I would be angry at her, because I had done my part, and third, if she did respond favorably and whispered, “I love you”, it was never really satisfying, because deep down I knew that I had earned her love. Afterall, if I hadn't done all those nice things for her, she wouldn't have loved me.

And last, tomorrow and the next day and the next day, I would need to earn her love all over again. Now to sum this all up, let's say two things; one about me and one about the girl. Our Creator God has created me in such a way that it is impossible for me to be fully satisfied with any love other than His - I simply cannot get there. Now about her; God says, He alone is God, which means she is not. In other words, she cannot give me life or unconditional love, which by definition, makes her a pretty lousy god. This is all to say I wasted a lot of time and effort hunting for, searching for, trying to earn love that had already been given to me by Abba Father. When it comes to unconditional love, let's declare that hunting season be over forever and thank Him for His gift of love each day.

Blessings,
Thomas

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