A thought keeps coming back to me at times that I have not explored very much. It is the idea that maybe the judgment turns on where our love is focused. In fact, the judgment may in large part be simply an exposure of what it really is that we have decided to love in the long run much more than a rehearsal of things that we have done wrong or done right.
But figuring out what and where our love is can be a very slippery undertaking. There are so many things inside of us that can evade detection, so many ways in which we deceive both ourselves and most everyone around us that it can at times seem almost impossible to discern where our affections really lie. And not the least of these is the inherent hypocrisy that accompanies our attempts to satisfy the expectations of those who are important to us or the demands of religion as it is often taught to us.
When a person is raised to view themselves and their personal worth or value based on their performance or their ability to make others feel good without receiving real love themselves, then they are set up to have distorted views about God that must be exposed and overcome for years of later life. Likewise, if their hearts are filled with messages of shame or their bodies or spirits are abused and used; if they are threatened or discounted in their early years or in general are treated in any way that is less than the ideal that God sees for them, then to that extent they will have mistaken notions of their true identity, their true value in God's eyes and must be introduced to the real Father who passionately loves them and has an unshakable sense of infinite value for them.
That pretty much covers anyone who has ever been born on this planet. But at the same time there are wide variations between individuals in the amount of abuse or the amount of healthy upbringing that they received growing up. Sin is dedicated to destroying all true perceptions of God in our hearts and where sin abounds there will be seen much more twisted thinking and abusive treatment especially of the young. This ensures the perpetuation and darkening of the human psyche against believing the real truth about both God and about ourselves which is the goal of the originator of sin himself.
But God placed within the human mind and heart a desire to love and to be loved that cannot be extinguished easily. In fact, I think that it could be safely stated that at the very core of the titanic struggle going on in the universe right now is a focus on the ability of love to come out stronger than the power of lies. But since love itself is somewhat hardwired directly into the human heart as part of the design of God in our creation, sin seeks to find ways to pervert and misdirect that love so as to discount or pervert its power to overcome all odds and find its true fulfillment in reconnecting with its original Source.
So, as I am starting to perceive it, maybe life is made up of millions of choices about what I am going to do with the love that is already growing and emanating from my heart. Maybe it is not so much a matter of not having any love to give as it so often seems but maybe much of the problem is the directions that I choose to invest the love that God placed in me as a human.
As I have thought about this at times I have noticed that the Bible in various places talks about love and hatred in various and contrasting ways. It seems that our loves and hates become simply evidences of the choices that we have made. The things that we love and the things that we hate are simply the outward manifestations or symptoms of the things that we believe in our hearts to be valuable or not valuable to us as well as reflections of how much value we feel that God has for us. The things that we love we consider important and of worth to us; the things that we hate we consider to be worthless or even a threat to us and our sense of value.
This whole issue is not yet real clear to me yet. I am continuing to try to perceive this even as I write it out. And I don't even know if I am on a valid track or not, but it seems to be a thread of truth that promises to lead me to something very helpful if I could follow it far enough. But I sense that it is also something that must be pursued while listening more to my heart than just trying to use logic to think my way through a set of formulas. And this would make sense since love itself is not something that the left brain has much ability to really understand nearly as well as the right brain.
Part of the clues for this have come up in my ongoing study of the book of John. I am to the point where it talks about loving darkness rather than light or vice versa. I am trying to understand more of the implications of both what this really means and even more so of how it applies to me personally. I feel like I am missing a great deal of wisdom as I read through these passages which is part of the reason it is taking me such a long time to work through them. Each day I come back to meditate on this and listen to whatever God is ready to show me that I may or may not have not seen before.
This issue of what we love and the effect that our choices have on that seems to be something that is far more important that I currently understand. There are other places too that talk about what we love and it just keeps coming back to this as being possibly the core issue in the development of our identity and all of our relationships that will determine our final destiny for eternity. And while I have been learning for several years much more about the reality and power and direction that God's love has and the implications that can have for me personally, I sense that I also need to understand more clearly what effect my choices have in all of this when it comes to the focus of my loves and how that shapes my perceptions of who I really am.