Knowing and feeling God’s love

Sunshine on lakeWhat is the difference between knowing the love of God, and feeling loved by him? What is the difference between believing that God is a God who loves us, and really knowing that love?

On Sunday we were looking at the story that Jesus told about the ‘prodigal’ son. When Martin finished speaking he invited us to discuss the implications around the tables where we were sitting. I made a statement on the spur of the moment and without really thinking about it. I said,

“I have always known that God loves me, ever since I was 5 years old.”

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Loving ourselves before loving humanity

Love yourselfJesus affirmed the Old Testament law: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself(Italics mine). The implication here is clear: how we love and treat other people, is linked very closely to how we love and treat ourselves. I must admit that I have often emphasised the first part – loving our neighbour – and ignored the second part – loving ourselves. If we don’t love ourselves we do not have much basis for loving other people. We may feel uncomfortable about the idea of loving ourself. Connotations include selfishness, and “looking after number one”. But there is a place for loving, and caring for, ourself so that we are free to love other people. In this article I want to explore this in more detail.

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