One of the great perennial lies of fallen Man is that if God is love and we love some sin, then it must not really be sin and God must want us to keep doing what we’re doing, to be happy in our sin. If God is love, and I love obsessing over my physical appearance, then God must love me obsessing over my physical appearance. If God is love, and I love obsessing over nutrition and health concerns, God must love my obsession over those things too. If God is love, and I love a particular career path, hobby, sport, friendship, then surely God wants me to be happy by continuing to chase my dreams.
But the great lie is that our loves must be good and that our loves will actually make us happy. The truth is that we frequently love terrible things or we love good things in terrible ways. As Augustine famously put it, our loves are disordered. Our love is a broken compass, a false clock, malfunctioning scales. Our love cannot be trusted. Our loves will lie to us, distort the world around us, and lead us off cliffs. God is love, but our loves are not God. We need our loves re-ordered and replaced, and that means we must lay our loves before God honestly.
Lord, what do you think of my love of this career path? Lord, what do you think of my love of this friend? Lord, what do you think of my love of this hobby, this passion, this dream?
And one way the Lord answers that honest prayer is by looking honestly at how that love is affecting your walk with God. Is that love drawing you closer to Jesus, really? Is that love drawing you closer to His Word? Is that love causing you to see your sin and God’s grace more clearly? Is it drawing you closer to God’s people, your spouse, your children, your parents, your roommates? Or is that love pulling you away, distracting you, merely affirming you and not actually confronting you?
God’s love certainly welcomes every son of Adam, every daughter of Eve just as they are, but God’s love doesn’t leave us there. God’s love is determined to save sinners, and a central part of that salvation is saving us from ourselves.