Wednesday, December 03, 2008

We All Wanna Be Loved

From the sinner to the righteous to the self-righteous to the rich to the poor to the brother to the sister to the mom to the dad to the husband to the wife to the son to the daughter to the aunt to the uncle to the grandma to the grandpa to the cousin to the niece to the nephew to the in-law to the out-law to the trustful to the distrustful to the law-abider to the Christ-abider to the holier-than-thou to the holy-by-grace to the one who sings in tune to the one who sings out of tune...

From the hard worker to the lazy to the homosexual to the heterosexual to the eunuch to the black to the white to the red to the yellow to the green to the purple to the tidy to the unkempt to the introverted to the extroverted to the happy self-satisfied sinner to the miserable self-condemning saint to the wasteful to the prudent to the glass-half-empty person to the glass-half-full person to the danger-seeker to the scaredy-cat to the Jew to the Gentile to the religious to the non-religious...

From the judge to the jury to the prosecutor to the defender to the witness to the prisoner to the free to the royalty to the peasant to the upper class to the middle class to the lower class to the forgiving to the vengeful to the content to the envious to the fit to the unfit to the fleshly to the Spirit-led to the home owner to the home renter to the homeless to the citizen to the alien to the knowledgeable to the unintelligent from the famous to the unknown to the social person to the anti-social person...

From the murderer to the life-saver to the neighbor to the friend to the stranger to the selfish to the selfless to the one with much company to the lonely to the atheist to the theist to the one who is like you to the one who isn't like you to the one who likes you to the one who doesn't like you to the one who thinks I just repeated myself to the one who sees that I didn't to the addicts to the self-controlled to the flashy to the plain vanilla to the clumsy to the coordinated to the self-conscious to the others-conscious to the God-conscious...

From the one who spits on the name of Jesus to the one who esteems His name as the name above all names...

From the this to the that to the everyone else...

We all have one thing in common...

We All Wanna Be Loved!


  1. Joel,

    Yes! I can see myself in several of your categories. Of course, when I look at you lists as lists of people that I should love... well, it gets even more complicated, doesn't it? But, all want to be loved, and all are loved by God, and all should be loved by God's children.


  2. I like that!!! GOOD NEWS: We are all loved unconditionally!! :)

  3. Alan,

    I can also see myself all over the place in this list, as well as so many people that I know. Loving others unconditionally is definitely a challenge... indeed it's "impossible" for me to do. But truly, as I look at the love-in-action that Jesus showed for sinners of all types - a reflection of the Father's love for them - and as I look to His life in me through His grace, what is impossible for men becomes a very real possibility. Truly, as you say, all should be loved by God's children.


    That's where it starts, doesn't it! (And ends). :) I like the first words that appear on the video as the singing starts: "We love because He first loved us." (1 John 4:10-11, 18-19). Everything flows from His great unconditional love.

  4. Yes, Isn't it THAT which makes us "seekers"?
    Aren't we all seeking True Love?
    An interesting comment was made on my blog, that still hasn't settled well with me. Aren't we, by nature, seekers of (this) love?
    Aren't we even told to seek and we will find it??
    I don't think it's a command to seek, but rather an admission that when we seek (cause we will), we will find Him. Am I missing something? What do you think?

  5. Free Spirit,

    Several thoughts come to mind, and it might be somewhat complicated to sort them all out in a comment, but I know you're the type of person who can take my thoughts for what they're worth, so I'll just throw them out to you... :)

    Jesus said to His disciples, "remember, you did not choose me, but I chose you..."

    Paul quoted from various OT sources in Romans 3 saying, "There is none who seeks after God... they have all turned aside... there is no fear of God before their eyes..." etc.

    Various parables speak of a shepherd who seeks the lost sheep or the woman who seeks the lost coin, etc. (Not the other way around). Even the lost son (prodigal son) didn't come seeking the love of the father, but only came back in hopes of being a slave. It was the father who ran to him!

    In a big sense, I think the Bible makes the case that before a person has been born again, they don't have what it takes to seek after God. We've all gone our own way. I believe Romans 1 makes the case that all people have suppressed the truth in unrighteousness, and have not glorified God nor been thankful, and have become futile in their thoughts, etc.

    So apart from God Himself seeking after us and finding us (as if we've ever found Him) :) - I think there'd be no such thing as a relationship with God. In other words, when it comes to us knowing Him, I believe it's fully about His passionate pursuit of us, not our pursuit of Him.

    All of that said, there is that "emptiness" or "void" or "vacuum" that many people feel and indeed it may cause them to seek or search for something that they don't have. They may or may not call it or recognize it as a search for God or for true love, but they're definitely searching for something.

    What's more, in Matthew 7 and Luke 11, Jesus does tell His hearers, "ask, and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you." It's interesting to note His application of all this. In Matthew 7, He ends up saying, "how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him," and in Luke 11 He says, "how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him." (I'd note that those who are in Christ already have the Holy Spirit, so the people He was talking to are, I believe, people who have known God as 'Father,' but have not yet come to know know Him through faith in the true Messiah).

    This is getting long, but my main thought is that truly people are "seekers," but it's only due to the fact that we know we're empty and void. It's really God who passionately pursues us and finds us.

    But here's the key to all of this. I know it sounds cliché, but the bottom line is that "Jesus is the answer." The search is over. In other words, whatever it is we're seeking after, the only true fulfillment is Christ alone, and Christ Himself is fully and sufficiently what we need. What I'm saying is, now that we're in Christ, there is nothing left to search for. It's all fulfilled in Him.

    If we don't feel full, or satisfied, or if we feel hungry or thirsty, or as if something is missing, what we need is a revelation of the truth of what we already do have in Christ. Or like I said in my last couple of posts, we simply need to "believe" what is already true; what we've already received in Christ.

    I think the more I type, the more cans of worms I'm opening. :) There is a lot that could be addressed in each little part of what I said here. If nothing else, I really wanted to say that in Christ, we have all we need. Any 'searching' that we do is simply to find what is already true. We are (already) complete in Him, says Col. 2:10.

  6. Ok, so I feel like I've talked myself in a circle because I agree with all that you've said here about His seeking us out.

    But, as much as I would say it's not our RESPONSIBILITY to seek love (Him) out, it does, in many ways, seem to be our NATURE to seek something to fill that void in our life..

    I also agree with the point that we are constantly seeking to find (out) that which is ours in Him.

    Here's the question: Romans 3:11 does say that no one seeks after God, but then verses like Luke 12:31 say to seek after the kingdom of God and not the things the world seeks after. And then there's Matt. 7:8 that says that those who keep on seeking will find, and that to those who keep on knocking, the door will be opened.

    I don't know, I pulled out the old concordance, and there seems to be a lot of seeking going on, and it's not all Him doing it. So, once again, somewhere there's a disconnect for me. I don't have a problem believing that He seeks me (us) out, but my mind is having trouble believing that we have absolutely NO part in the seeking.

    Finally, we definitely agree that He is the answer, and that we already have ALL things in Him, but that perhaps there is some searching going on to discover what "ALL" things means.

    And then the question rings in my ears, "but if it's ALL on His shoulders, then what part does our free will play?" Why don't we ALL have a Damascus road experience? I mean, it hardly seems fair that Saul was so "sought out", granted, most of us are not going around killing christians, either. Arrgh!

  7. BTW: I know that once we've been sought by Him, our free will kicks into action as to whether we choose Him or not.

    Why do some people seem to spend a lifetime seeking truth, but it's questionable as to whether they ever find it?

    Ah, never mind; it's late and my brain hurts. Sorry.

  8. Free Spirit,

    I know my own tendency to go in circles like you're talking about, and I know it's not an exceptionally wonderful place to be! :)

    We see places where it says 'if you seek Me...'" and we see places where it says 'there is none who seeks after God...' and we can indeed go round and round trying to figure it all out.

    What's truly helped me when it comes to things like this is to just take a step back and say, "Daddy, I just don't get it." And sometimes I get specific about things and sometimes more general, but I ask Him about all these things and what it all really means. I ask all kinds of questions and I leave it up to Him - I trust Him - to reveal to me what He wants to.

    So in this sense, I really do "seek" Him for truth and wisdom.

    And on a deeper level, not only do I seek for answers, and godly wisdom and truth, but He has identified me and treated me and pursued me like a lover pursues His beloved, and I can most certainly respond to all of this, since it's a true love-relationship, and pursue Him as well.

    What I was trying to say before is that He already has 'all of us,' and we are already 'complete in Him.' We have all that we need in Him, but experientially speaking we have a lifetime of growing to do in who we already are, and that involves seeking and asking and all that.

  9. Ok, good word, Joel. I'll happily leave it at that: Agreed.

    Thanks for putting the time and thought into your response! You're always good for that.

    I'm really not losing any sleep over it, and I'm cool with leaving it to Him to reveal to me, in His way, at His appointed time. :)

  10. Great discussions. This has been debated in the church for centuries. There are plenty of well-meaning believers on both sides. You could argue both sides and use scripture to back it up. This leads me to think that we cannot fully understand it all in our human minds. I'm ok with that. There is something very reassuring about knowing that my Father can design things that I do not understand fully. If I could understand all of the ways of God, He would not be Almighty.

  11. Socoteanu,

    Yep, I think you're right, all of this is easily debatable by well-meaning people. And I think it great for believers to discuss and think about and pray about. And it's truly reassuring to remember in all of this that God is God and we are not. :)

  12. Hi Joel….

    Very cool!

    I love French vanilla….even if I love chocolate more…

    It seems that in the video love is at times tied tightly to respect….how would you say this fits with Scripture?

    Of course there are sociopaths that are unconcerned with these things…

  13. Livingsword,

    Great observation. The word "R.E.S.P.E.C.T." comes from the book of Aretha, Chapter 1 Verse 22. ;)

    But seriously, the concept of respect is found, I think, throughout the Bible. I think a great example of a definition of the word would be to hold others in high esteem, and we find that exhortation in Phil 2:3-4

    Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

    I think we all want to be loved, and we all want to be esteemed by others. I believe God Himself holds us in great esteem:

    Ps 8:4-5
    What is man that You are mindful of him,
    And the son of man that You visit him?
    For You have made him a little lower than the angels*,
    And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

    God loves us and has crowned us with glory and honor! As we grow in all of this through God's supernatural love and grace, I believe it's only natural that we begin to see each other more and more in the same way.

    *original Hebrew word is Elohim

  14. This is one those things the atheists can't explain. Where has the inherent need for love come from? From Monkeys? Monkeys are pretty happy if they have enough food to eat. But we humans, can't be happy and satisfied even if we conquer the whole world. Was Solomon happy after so much wealth and 1000 girls?

    He said everything is vanity!

    "There is a God shaped vacuum in every man" - Pascal

    The vacuum left in us when the Spirit of God left Adam when he sinned in Eden...

    Until we meet Him in person, our need to be loved will not be fulfilled... There aren't any substitutes for God's love!

  15. Bino... true! I wonder at which point our advanced need for love evolved?

    I also wonder if Solomon had any other girlfriends besides his 700 wives and 300 porcupines, I mean, concubines!