Even if we when we are unaware of it, many of us do our best in hopes that God will love us more. Dr. Chris Thurman reminds us that not only does God not require us to earn His love; we couldn’t even if we tried.
“From my understanding of Scripture, it is clear that the love of God has nothing to do with us. It is one of God’s attributes; it is not tied to us at all. Therefore, I think we have to divorce God’s love for us from our behavior.”
God’s love for us is not performance-based. It is consistent and unchanging. However, if we can’t earn God’s love, does that mean we have license to sin all we want? According to Dr. Thurman, the answer is no.
“The other lie about God that some people get into is that He is going to ignore your disobedience, which He is not. The tightrope that we walk is we can’t earn God’s love because it’s perfect, permanent, and stable, but He loves us too much to ignore when we do things that are self-destructive or hurtful to other people. That’s not His love, that’s His discipline, His rebuke, and Him being a healthy Father to straighten His children out until He gets us back on the right path.”
“Quit thinking that the love of God has anything to do with your performance, but don’t play fast and loose with grace. Don’t cut corners thinking God is going to be indifferent to you continuing to sin so that grace may abound.”
We should be inspired to follow God along the path of righteousness, not in an effort to earn God’s love, but because it’s the best thing for us. God‘s commands aren’t intended to hurt or hinder us; they are designed to bring us abundant life.
Dr. Chris Thurman is a psychologist, bestselling author, and sought-after speaker. A charter member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, Dr. Thurman worked at the Minirth-Meier Clinic for six years before entering private practice more than twenty-five years ago.