I am not a very lovable person once you get to know me. I lie. I am selfish. I have really annoying habits. I am lazy. I am messy. I am prideful. I get depressed and am very often negative. I am insecure. I get angry when things don’t go my way. And the list goes on. I’m really not being falsely modest or something here. I live with my faults every day, and in the end I’m the only one who knows how small, dark, and petty my heart is.
There is something I’ve been thinking about a lot in the last few months. Why do we love people? It’s because of things about them and qualities they have, right? So what if I meet Mr. Wonderful and fall in love. Let’s say I love him because he treats me well, he is handsome, he is funny, he has a positive outlook on life, he is kind, he loves Jesus, etc., I love this person because of qualities he has.
But all of those can go away. Time and wear and tear take their toll on physical attractiveness. A sense of humor gets old when life is stressful. Maybe he only treated me so well because he was enamored of me, but that stops once we’ve been together awhile. Eventually he becomes disillusioned with life and is now negative all the time. He is kind and considerate sometimes, but mostly just wrapped up in his own issues. He does love the Lord, really and truly, but it’s an up and down relationship that never gets 100% of his attention.
All those qualities that I loved just went away or turned out to be disappointments.
So what do I love?
That’s something I’m still trying to reconcile in my own mind. How do we truly love a person, without just loving things about them, which are changeable?
I think this is where the choice comes in. The choice to love, despite the ugliness we see. What’s amazing to me, and what is so truly, deeply relieving, is that Christ sees my ugliness, and yet he loves me. But not because of anything about me.
That’s how it can work. God doesn’t love me because of who I am – he loves me because of who he is.
I am not a very lovable person once you get to know me! But God knows me completely, and loves me still. I could change into someone else entirely, or be the same ugly person for the rest of my life. I could fail at everything I ever undertake. And he will love me still.
“Love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be.”