Previously on the other blog that I wrote last week, we tackled the “origin” of love. We started at the very beginning, which is the creation of the world and the start of the fall of man. Some of you may be very much familiar with how the story goes: Eve was tempted by the serpent and invited Adam to eat the forbidden fruit leading them to sin and be aware that they were naked (Gen.3:7).
It is important to read through the first chapters of Genesis so we could follow with the story. Writing this article can only be of some help in an extent, but it is important to go back and slowly digest what is happening verse per verse.
That said, I encapsulated five love myths that we often hear today.
MYTH #1 : If God is love, why does He “hate”?
God created everything and He saw that is was good. There was no evil lurking in His creation before Adam and Eve sinned. The consequence of man having the knowledge to know good and evil, they disobeyed and did what God hates: they sinned.
“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.”
The irony is that we try to equate God with the kind of perception of love that we have. We morph Him into a God that will follow our desires as if to say, “Lord, You made the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, how dare YOU to not make us eat it?” Honestly, that sounds ridiculous to think that we only love God to make Him a ‘granter’ or genie to follow our fleshly desires which is to sin freely. God is a loving god, but He is also a holy and just God. Not capable of error. That’s something that our human minds can’t fully take a grasp on apart from the Holy Spirit teaching us how to live.
MYTH #2 : God doesn’t like offerings from us because He doesn’t need anything
While it is true that God has anything and we won’t add up to the grace that He has freely given, God demands worship from us because it is rightly so. What do I mean? In loving someone, it is an automatic response to pursue going after and pleasing that person. It goes the same for God, the only difference is that His conditions doesn’t change. Sin is sin. He can see through our ‘firstfruits’, are we giving or exerting because we wanted to please the Father and for that purpose only? Or we only do it because of obligation so we give leftovers, or if not leftovers…just scraps of a place in our hearts?
We can study the fourth chapter of Genesis, seeing that Abel gave the right and pleasing offering while Cain’s offering was rejected. A lot of assumptions arise on the “WHY” question and if God had His bias on accepting a certain offering. Always remember that God see through us and know our thoughts even if we make a big show of our offerings or efforts in worshiping.
MYTH #3 : God doesn’t hold us accountable in loving others
In Genesis 4:9 God asked Cain where Abel was, and reading towards verse 10 we see that God knew that Cain already killed Abel but He still asked the question, “Where is your Abel your brother?” All the time, even before we repent or realize the gravity of sin we do unto others, God already discerned our hearts even before our mouth speaks.
The goal is repentance and grieving in sinning, for when we sin, we don’t only scar our relationship with others but we also scar our relationship with God by making Him look stupid, trying to conceal or sugarcoat our sins. It’s useless. Loving other sinners should be the fruit of the hope we have in Christ, that He gave His life for us so we could live and restore our relationship with the Father and in that very hope, we have the confidence to live in God’s love as an extension of the freedom that we received.
MYTH #4 : God doesn’t care about us, or loves us, or feel like we do
Moving forward to Genesis 6:6, the Lord saw that humans got ‘wicked’ and ‘evil’ and it “…grieved him to his heart.” Meaning? God feels. He cares about what we do, and regardless of how everyone around us acts like there is no hope for mankind and we will all suffer wrath, on Genesis 6 we see that Noah gained favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Even just one person can change God’s perspective in saving the world and not putting an end to it, and when we think about it, God could have chosen to wipe out the whole Earth during the great flood but He didn’t do that. Instead, He promised that since He saw Noah who was doing the right and pleasing thing in His eyes, He considered giving humanity a chance. That’s grace. We deserved to be wiped out from Earth, but God didn’t do that. He gave us hope through Noah and his family.
MYTH #5: God ‘s love cannot reach *some* people
God’s Covenant with Noah
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And when the LORD smelled kthe pleasing aroma, the LORD said in his heart, “I will never again lcurse1 the ground because of man, for mthe intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. nNeither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done. 22 oWhile the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, pday and night, shall not cease.”
The Lord gave Noah His covenant of remembering that people are naturally sinful and that He will not curse or wipe out humanity ever again, and by that extension, even people who do not choose or have not chosen God benefits from this blessing that God has bestowed upon Noah. They don’t have to do anything to gain that blessing, but even just one man can make God love to the extent of allowing humanity AND saving humans from His wrath. The only sad thing is that even if that goodness and mercy manifest in everyday life, many will still choose to follow their own desire because they want to be a god of their own OR the eyes of their hearts have been blinded.
We will discuss further on the types of love next week to dive deeper into what love is.
Rizia B. Paragas is the Publications Team Leader of True Love Waits Philippines. She is a mental health advocate that loves singing, reading and writing. Her ideal rest day is appreciating God’s masterpiece through taking care of her plants, hiking and swimming on deep ocean waters.