What we love shows us who we are — and what we truly long for. What bible verses resonant with you and make you feel most loved? And what does this tell you about who you are, where your weaknesses are, and what God made you to be?
On Google+ yesterday, (oh yeah I’m on Google+ and it’s actually great! You should join me!) Karee Santos of Can We Cana? (who also has a fantastic post I’ll link to at the end!) asked what I thought was a wonderful question:
“What Bible Verse makes you Feel Most Loved by God?”
For some of us, there will be so many that spring to mind that it might seem impossible to choose. If we look more deeply into our hearts, though, I think we’ll find a few that really resonant with us.
Somehow, they just click.
For me, it’s Ephesians 3:14-19 where St Paul prays for his readers:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.
Okay, so it’s more than a single verse but it’s so hard to pick just one!
What Can I Learn from What I Love?
Such verses can tell us a lot about who we are and how we see our relationship with God.
When I read these verses I see:
- My intense love for my family. When I say intense, I mean “you hurt them, I kill you” kind of intense. Seriously, you should all be thankful I wasn’t born into a crime family or ruling dynasty because you knows what I would do for them.
- My natural affinity for home and everything homey. I’m a classic introvert and the idea that Christ wants to dwell or make His home with me? It just makes me want to put the kettle on and have a lovely chat by the fire with my Beloved.
- My desire for depth and rootedness in everything. I feel everything deeply. I think far too deeply and I want to know ALL THE THINGS. Picking up the themes of family and home, I also want to be rooted in a history a gazillion times bigger than me.
- My insatiable longing for more and more and more and more. A knowledge beyond knowledge? A fullness that is infinitely full? Where can I sign up?
I can see many of my strengths in this list but I can also see their shadow side.
For example, I loved rootedness, tradition, family and home — but do I have an us-vs-them mentality that alienates others? Do I like the comfort of the familiar too much? We, after all, are strangers and aliens in this world, sent out into a hostile world. “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Mt 8:2)
I can also see how this desire for more can so easily get out of hand. I want everything and I want it all now goddammit. Not so much in a material sense (although I’m guilty of that too) but in a spiritual sense. When I want something I can’t have, it’s so easy to become anxious, frustrated and bitter… usually in that order.
Learn to Listen to Learn to Love
We must learn to listen to our hearts, not to follow their every passing whim because oh boy, we are good at deceiving ourselves. No, we listen to learn who we are, both our strengths and our weaknesses.
What we love can tell us a lot about ourselves and the sins we need to be on our guard against. The devil is cunning enough to know that it’s far easier to tempt us into idolising what we already love than what we really don’t care for. (It’s one reason I’m quietly confident I will never idolise extreme sports or put ice-climbing above God. I know, who knew such holy renunciation was even possible!)
Unless we know ourselves and know our hearts, we will never grow in love or wisdom. Our heads might be enormous but we’ll be tiny, pathetic men and women without chests, as C. S. Lewis put it.
We’ll be the Mr Beans of the spiritual life, hilariously delusional and walking around with turkeys on our heads.
But we can also know that if we give God our hearts, He will make His home with us, purifying us and filling us with His love and His grace. He is able to do far more than we can even ask or imagine. (Eph 3:20)
Considering it’s our hearts He’s taking on, that’s a mighty good thing too.
What bible verse makes you feel most loved by God?