Today’s devotional by Holley Gerth reminds us that we can be still and not have to try to hard to be perfect because we have the confidence of God’s unconditional love for us.
“Do you really believe God loves you — not just tolerates you? When I ask this question to women who are exhausted from trying hard to be “good enough,” the reaction is usually tears springing to their eyes. I understand this response because it was my story for many years too.
Somehow we’ve gotten the idea that God simply “puts up with us” because He has to. We’re the naughty children who drive Him crazy, but He has to be our parent anyway. I believe at the root of every human quest for perfection is a misunderstanding of God’s love for us. Our hearts are made for love, and if we don’t think we can freely receive it, then we’ll try to earn it.
And as long as we’re trying to earn love, we can’t be still inside because we are afraid.Understanding God’s love for us is the only thing that can truly bring peace and rest to our hearts. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment” (1 John 4:18).
God doesn’t just love you; He is love. It’s the essence of His character. God can’t be unloving. It’s simply not possible. And His love is far different than what we’ve experienced from other people.
God’s love has no limits. You can’t wear Him out or be too much for Him to handle. He doesn’t grow tired. He doesn’t have bad days. His response to you doesn’t depend on his mood or energy level. There’s never an end to His love for you.
God’s love has no expectations. In every human relationship, we encounter expectations. But God doesn’t have any for us. He already knows our hearts; therefore, we can’t surprise or disappoint Him.
God’s love has no requirements. We’re used to relationships in which we’re made to feel, “If you do X, then I will love you.” God’s love is unconditional. God loved all of us while we were still sinners, and nothing can separate us from His love now.
God’s love is not dependent on us. Human love is often determined by our actions. But God loves us because that’s who he is. It’s part of His character. He will always love us, no matter what we do.
God’s love has our ultimate good in mind. Because He doesn’t need our love, God can do what is best for us even if it’s not what we want. Other people may make choices that aren’t really beneficial to us just so we won’t get upset with them. But God is independent of us and doesn’t need our approval.
God’s love can’t be earned. It can only be received. We can win the affections of others through our actions. But God’s love is only and always a gift of grace. We can never be good enough to gain His love and never bad enough to lose it.
God is offering His love to you — fully, freely, and forever. It’s time to stop trying so hard, let your heart be still and simply receive it.”
(c) 2015 Holley Gerth Used with Permission http://www.incourage.me/2015/03/the-courage-to-be-still-week-1-the-truth-that-will-set-you-free-from-trying-so-hard.html