Faith and Reflection. FILE PHOTO

God’s love for us is not based on our performance

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

Rev. Ross Helgeton/Faith and Reflection

An expert in the law of Moses asked Jesus which commandment in the law is the most important. Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and most important command. And the second command is like the first: Love your neighbour the same as you love yourself… .” (Matthew 22:35 – 40 ERV)

Jesus’ answer sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Yet, people spend their entire lives struggling with both of these commandments. There are many people who don’t love God, and perhaps even more who can’t tolerate their neighbour.

Possibly, perhaps even probably, one reason that people have trouble loving God, or others, is because their self-image is distorted; they don’t love themselves! Disproportionate viewpoints, ranging from self-resentment to self-worship, can result in everything from self abasement to narcissism (though self-loathing does seems to be more common than self-absorption).

Our self-image is often linked to our abilities and performance and/or associated with material acquisitions. This approach is quite flawed. First, not everyone is an achiever, nor will everyone become wealthy. Secondly, those who do achieve and/or become wealthy will, over the course of time, lose their ability to achieve and their wealth will either be spent or left behind. Or, as someone said, we spend our lives trying to climb the ladder of success, only to discover that we’ve leaned the ladder against the wrong building.

There is a list that I provide for people from time to time. It can be found by googling “Who You Are in Christ.” It is a list of about 27 Bible verses with captions attached like, “I am loved – John 3:16.” I review the list myself from time to time and never fail to find it refreshing as I evaluate and establish my self-image based upon how God views me.

How we view ourselves can have far-reaching and potentially solemn repercussions.

A man whom I was very fond of was filled with self-disgust. Over the course of time, the fact that he despised his less than exemplary father became apparent. In dramatically oversimplified fashion, this seemed to hinder his ability to connect with the Heavenly Father and in turn his own lifestyle became much less than ideal. He had many friends and a family that loved him, but ultimately he took his own life. If he had valued himself as God and the rest of us did, he would probably still be with us.

God’s love for us is not based on our performance or acquisitions and it is not affected by time, for His love is eternal. “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

Just Posted

Stettler County campground broken into Nov. 13

Stettler RCMP looking for two suspects in B&E investigation

House fire blazes in Stettler Nov. 16

Stettler Fire Rescue responded to a house fire Nov. 16 at 72 St & 50 Ave. (Gregory Sylvester photo)

Stettler RCMP look for man who may have damaged power lines

Trailer hit overhead lines at Stettler service station in October

One man charged after Stettler RCMP answer stolen vehicle complaint

27 year old Jyles Uschenko is facing multiple charges

Semi collides with vehicle on Highway 2

Members of the Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit dealt with a call on Highway 2 north of Ponoka

‘The Man We Never Knew’ Nov. 11 in Stettler

‘The Man We Never Knew’ was recited Nov. 11 while poppies rained down on the cenotaph.

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Media gets hands-on training with the Canadian military

Black Press reporter Kendra Wong goes ‘undercover’ in Victoria to learn how to be the best she can be

Bank of Canada cautious of future rate hikes

The Bank of Canada remains cautious on future rate hikes due to low- inflation risk

London theatre received allegations against Kevin Spacey

The theatre said Thursday the 20 allegations deal with incidents between 1995 and 2013.

Da Vinci’s Christ painting sells for record $450M

The painting, “Salvator Mundi,” Latin for “Savior of the World,” is one a few paintings by Leonardo known to exist

Loblaws closing 22 stores, launching home delivery ahead of ‘difficult year’

“We are excited about our future. But…we expect 2018 will be a difficult year,” said Galen G. Weston, Loblaw CEO.

Ban moves ahead in B.C. against same real estate agent for buyer and seller

New real estate consumer protection rules to take effect in March

Most Read