In my last blog, I stated that God loves everyone, unconditionally and that love is the very nature of God. I believe that with all of my heart, but it is good to be challenged now and again. After publishing last week’s blog, a long-term friend came round to see us. She had just read a book about God and natural disasters and was disturbed by what she had read.
Accepting the challenge, I downloaded the book to my kindle and read it all in a day. The book was written by a well-known bible scholar. (I will not mention his name because I don’t want to attack him publicly.) The book addressed the age-old problem of “If God is a God of love, why does he allow natural disasters”. Continue reading “Does God love everyone?”
Jesus 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.
Everyone wants to feel accepted. There is a deep need to be accepted by other people, spouses, family, friends, colleagues and society. Yes, we need love, but we also need the respect and acceptance from those around us. We need to know too that God accepts us just as we are, unconditionally. We should accept other people too, particularly people who are different, and celebrate our differences, not despise them. But first of all we must learn to accept ourselves and then we will be free to accept other people. Continue reading “Acceptance”