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.
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.
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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