I have been swallowing an unconscious lie, believing that God holds the blessings in my life hostage, fearing that He might take them away in order to teach me something.
We’re taught that there is purpose in suffering and a reason for trials. We take heart in difficult times, knowing that these can form us for the better.
But it’s easy to slide from this truth to an untrue axiom, that every good thing is something that can be ripped away if we misbehave.
For a long time, I thought that every blessing could be held over me, that if I loved something too tightly, God would take it away from me. I doubt I need to point out that this kind of thinking is not conducive to thriving relationships and commitments.
Not only that, but it’s also not true. It’s a twisted perspective of the love that God has for us. His love doesn’t require that we do anything to gain it, and it also doesn’t seek to control us by holding our blessings ransom.
He loved us while we were still a long way off. His love doesn’t manipulate us. That’s not what love is.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7).
God is love. He doesn’t change from day to day. He doesn’t decide when He wants to be loving or not. He is love today, yesterday and forever. So He is patient, and He is kind, and He is not self-seeking.
Sometimes God does put us in certain circumstances to teach us something. He might take away our support structure so that we can learn to trust more in Him. He might be reminding us that there should be no other idols in our lives. But His correction stems from love and does not seek to deceive us. He works all things for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
This then must be the purpose of blessings—not to control us but to be shared. Blessings carry responsibility; they are opportunities for us to give to others.
We need to return to the true vision of God’s love. He delights in us and rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3: 17). He does not seek to trick us. His blessings are good gifts that we’re called to steward well.
His love is pure and never fails.