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Hindrances to Accepting God's Love

By Dr. Charles Stanley


Scripture tells us that God created mankind for the purpose of expressing His divine, unconditional, all-satisfying love. Yet one of the most devastating failures in a Christian’s life is the inability to embrace the pure love of God. What prevents a believer from accepting His unconditional love?

1. Our own love relationships.

Ironically, the way we love each other can distort how we perceive God’s love. As imperfect people, we exhibit imperfect love. Conditional responses, wrong motives, and emotional highs and lows taint our understanding of God’s pure love.

2. Guilt.

Our remorse over sinful behavior can subtly convince us that we are unworthy of God’s love. This is a trap of the devil. We have the assurance of Scripture that the Father loves us completely, regardless of our actions.

3. Legalism.

Many people view the Bible as a simple rule book—a collection of dos and don’ts. If you base your view of divine love on your ability to uphold every biblical precept, you are doomed to failure. God gave us His Word for instruction and inspiration, not as a measuring stick by which He distributes love.

4. Misinterpretation of divine discipline.

Make no mistake—God definitely disciplines His children when they go astray. However, He is a trustworthy Father; His discipline and love are intimately connected (Heb. 12:5-6) He corrects our behavior when necessary for our benefit, not as a form of punishment. Jesus already paid the price for our sin; He will not make us pay a second time.

Truly, every person was created with a desire and need in his or her heart to love God and feel His love. But it is what we choose to do with this desire—act upon it, or ignore it—that draws us closer to the Father, or away from Him. There are three specific reasons that the Lord placed this desire for Him in our hearts.

First, when we enter into a loving relationship with God, He is able and willing to offer His wisdom to guide us (James 1:5). Second, when we accept the Father’s love, we will be open to becoming the person He created us to be, living to our fullest potential. And third, when we embrace the Lord’s love, we will begin to see people and circumstances as He sees them—from the vantage point of His love.

In light of this, why would anyone choose to refuse God’s love? If you are ready to reap the benefits of God’s perfect love, reach out to Him in prayer today. Ask Him to help you overcome the hindrances so that you may rejoice in His everlasting and tender care.  


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  • June 26, 2013 01:59 AM


    Thank you Pastor Stanley. God bless you and bless you mightily. God bless all who work with you also and partner with you to get God's viewpoint and grace to us. You are loved and honored in our hearts.

  • June 25, 2013 01:05 PM


    Excellent teaching- it encourages me to think about my own love for God and my reception of His love, and also to pray for others' around me. I live in an assisted living and at times find it difficult to love and understand some of our Alzheimer's residents behavior. Thanks for making me rethink my attitudes and to have compassion on them.
  • June 25, 2013 01:40 AM


    Thank you Father God for the continued blessings of wisdom I learn on a daily basis. I try and try daily to be a better person, there are insane attitudes that I must overcome. With the help of my dear Lord Jesus Christ, I am learning to become a more tolerable person and uphold all individuals with love, regardless of their actions.
  • June 24, 2013 09:26 PM


    I had misplaced my magazine for this month, but THANK GOD I also receive the internet version. Thank you so much In Touch Magazine. My God continue to Bless you all.
  • June 24, 2013 12:15 PM


    Thank you for clarifying what is divine discipline: "Jesus already paid the price for our sin; He will not make us pay a second time." I'm so thankful to know this.
  • June 24, 2013 08:37 AM


    Dear Dr. Stanley. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are such an
    Encouragement in my life. I pray the Lord would bless you with
    Many many more healthy years, so you can continue in the awesome
    Ministry God has given you.Ruth.
  • June 24, 2013 12:25 AM


    the person he created us to be.. awesome.. thank you for the message Dr. Stanley
    Next step... application
  • June 23, 2013 11:37 PM


    Beautiful. Amen and thank God for His love!
  • June 23, 2013 07:40 PM


    God's love is better than anything I have ever encountered in my WHOLE life. GOD ROCKS!!!!!!! SO DOES JESUS!!!!! Thank you Heavenly DADDY for loving me when I didn't think at one time no one did or ever would. You are my high tower and Redeemer; my Help in times of trouble and even doubt.
  • June 23, 2013 01:59 PM


    Dr. Stanley you've truly been a blessing in my life! I've struggled with all 4 of these areas. I need to not run ahead of God and trust him to take care of my problems. When times have gotten rough and I really wanted out of my problems, I tried to find my own solutions. Everything I tried seemed to backfire. Here recently when I just gave up on a situation God stepped in and has been really directing it. Things just started falling into place without my having a hand in it. I'm so grateful to God because I just felt I couldn't bear up any longer. Thank you for letting me see where I've sabotaged myself. Doubting, not trusting, wondering what I had done wrong, or how I could have done things differently. When I listen to In Touch I always have such peace come upon me. I feel you really ministering to my needs. I never really felt the love of my earthly father. I know he did but he really hurt me in a lot of ways. You have such a calming reassuring way about you. I really see the love of the Father shining through in your ministry!
  • June 23, 2013 01:54 PM


    I will print this page, and pass it on to many whom I think will love it. And will also print and pass out. this will be one that many copy's will have been made Thank you for this
  • June 23, 2013 10:52 AM


    Seek first the Kindom of God and all these things will be given to you. Know Him and know Love.
  • June 23, 2013 09:51 AM


    Accepting God's unconditional love is the only way we can in turn love others as He loves. Only in perfect surrender to His will can we achieve virtues necessary to be vessels suited for His service.
    Thank you Pastor Stanley for making it easy to understand the Word of God and to apply it in my life. You have been my teacher since I was saved in 1988 and I continue to be nourished daily by it.
  • June 23, 2013 08:51 AM


    Dr Stanley, Could be the understatement of the year but you have an amazing perspective on God and The Bible. You make me want to read it again and again. Thank you. WB
  • June 23, 2013 08:22 AM


    MY problem with God's unconditional love ( or grace). Is that I feel as though I am some sort of charity case. I like to give to charity's when I can, I don't want to be a charity. But who am I to think that I am above the charity of God? My motives are not noble, they are prideful. And thats my problem I am so full of this false pride, ego, and image. When the truth of the matter is. Life is about grace, humility, and the patience in waiting to see God's unconditional love working in my life. And acceptance is the answer.
    Thank you for this reminder.
  • June 22, 2013 06:08 PM


    That is truly some of the most beautiful words that I have ever heard
  • June 21, 2013 10:10 PM


    I been struggling not knowing how to embrace his love. I want too
    Get close and follow not my way but his way will be bone fill like leaving here but there are children involve. I don't want to leave them. There is to this story then want I can write right now.

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