Can we over-emphasize God’s love? I was thinking about that as I was trying to sleep last night. Some think that we can. We can use God’s love as an excuse, to convince ourselves that we can sin and still be okay with God. After all, God loves us, right? He won’t reject us if we are disobedient!
There are seasons in my life, though, when God’s law—-or perhaps my
perception and understanding of God’s law—-weighs me down. In these
times, I may find myself hesitant to lean on God’s love, since a little
voice in my head is telling me that I cannot use God’s love as an excuse
to sin. Sometimes, I can pray and the right attitude materializes
within me, making the Christian life look like a cake-walk. At other
times, that does not work so well, and I am conscious of how much I fall
short of God’s high standards (or, again, my perceptions and
But I was thinking: Can I really over-emphasize God’s love? Do
Christian legalists—-and my inner Christian legalist—-seriously think
that the way to get me on the straight and narrow is for me to believe
in a harsh, judgmental God? Belief in that sort of God does not bear
much fruit in my life. It does not make me joyful, loving, and
peaceful, the fruits of the Spirit that Christian legalists (and, again,
my inner Christian legalist) may judge me as not having.
I do not believe that I can overemphasize God’s love. Actually, I
believe that God’s love is what I need to be a fruitful Christian. How
can I forgive or love a person who rejects me? I can remind myself—-and
remind myself until it becomes an integral aspect of my identity—-that
God loves me unconditionally and will never ever reject me.
I do believe, though, that I should adopt a belief in God’s love for
me that orients my view of others in a positive direction. Yes, God
loves me, but it is not God and me against the rest of the world. God
loves everyone else, too.