Thursday, September 15, 2022

Dating a Psycho with Super Powers

Suggested Reading: 1 John 4:7-21

Not long ago I re-watched an old, third-season episode of Smallville, the  story of Clark Kent before he became Superman. In this particular episode, he met a girl named Alicia who also had a superpower: she could teleport herself from one place to another. The two hit it off and went out on a date. Later, when Clark's friend asked him about Alicia, Clark responded, "It's an amazing feeling when someone actually likes you back." Of course, he soon discovered that Alicia was a psycho disguised as an attractive blonde girl but, hey, you can't have everything, right?

I would be surprised if you are reading this and you haven't experienced the sentiment that Clark expressed. Most of us have had crushes on people who didn't know we existed, and there is something very satisfying when you find someone who actually likes you back. Sometimes, that feeling alone is enough to override our better judgment, just because it feels really good to have someone like you back.

While it is not exactly the same thing, there is a very similar dynamic in our relationship with God. We spend much of our lives searching for someone who will love us or who will let us love them, only to discover that genuine love is a rare commodity. Genuine love is something that, when you find it,  tends to overpower just about everything else. Which is what makes God's love for us such a powerful thing when we encounter it. God's love for us is overwhelming when we get a good look at it. In fact, experiencing God's love empowers us to love in return.  1 John 4:19 says it this way, "We love because he first loved us" (HCSB).

But notice the verse doesn't just say "We love God because God first loved us." It says, we love because he first loved us. Even when we aren't aware of it, God's love directed toward us is what enables us to love anyone at all. God's love is so pervasive that it teaches us how to love, even when we aren't conscious of experiencing God's love. 

If God's love empowers us to love - to love God, to love others, to love ourselves - even when we aren't aware of it, imagine what would happen if we actually spent some time intentionally pondering the depth of God's love for us. We might just end up loving people better than we ever have before.

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