Back in Canada – I remember one of my frequent visits to the lady pastor at church. She recommended I buy a book called “Hiding from Love”. I gave her a quizzical look as surely I was looking for love, how could I be possibly be hiding from love but nonetheless I did follow through.
Now looking back, I realised the areas that needed healing. Some of the areas that prohibit us from receiving love are what have been taught by our parents. For example, my mother had taught us every time we received a gift from someone that we needed to give a gift back at the earliest opportunity making sure our gift was at a similar value or more – not cheaper! Of course, she had been orphaned at the age of 10 so she had a rough life and didn’t want to be ‘obliged’ to anyone. The cultural background also played a role in this ‘value’ of hers.
Gender differences play a role too. For example,
Just as women are afraid of receiving, men are afraid of giving – John Gray.
which then explains why the women tend to be the ones who give gifts to the one they have fallen in love with or have a crush on, while he doesn’t!
Then there are childhood experiences – overly critical parents, parents who are divorced, physically / sexually / emotionally / spiritually abusive parents or adults close to the family the list goes on… This negatively impacts the healthy growth of the child resulting in either one or more of the following character traits: defensive, insecure, lowered self worth and even promiscuity. The ‘bad’ example of the parent (perhaps well meaning or simply immaturity taking it out on their children or raising the bar for the children due to their own insecurities etc) thus gives the false message to the child that they are ‘unlovable’.
Women tend to talk things through so they tend to heal sooner than later whereas men and their egos keeps them bottling everything inside. Of course the gender differences are generalisations and you do get the opposite scenarios too. On the other hand, there are introverted personalities too.
Then there are things that society or community teaches us. For example showing persistent love to someone who seems to be hesitant or unsure as to whether reciprocate it or not is frowned upon. If it’s a ‘love interest’ is called as the ‘chase’ – which has a negative connotation. However what is the underlying principle for this to be looked at negatively? In a nutshell, if we are truly honest with our ourselves, doesn’t it boil down to ‘PRIDE’? Isn’t it about us wanting to maintain our pride, our ego – to feel that we didn’t have to do anything and we got the person if it’s regarding a ‘relationship’? Or if it’s in regards to a friendship, it’s the attitude of ‘why should we be the ones to stoop low / bend down for them?’
Are we applying this same principle then in other things too for example to secure the purchase of a house or a job? If the prospective house owner or employer wants us, let them find us! If we aren’t, then ask God why do we have different ‘standards’ and ask the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and reveal any areas that aren’t in line with His character.
When it comes to God loving us, waiting for us patiently – gently nudging us directly or through His vessels – with His arms wide open should we say that He is GOD, Sovereign, Almighty.. He shouldn’t chase us, He is above us all right? Ah, but then it’s ok for God to send His one and only Son, to leave His comfort zone in Heaven to come to earth, live on earth in the ‘dark’ ages, and to be sacrificed regardless of not having ever sinned! We want to reap the rewards of that – do we deserve that? Aren’t we the ones who sinned and keep on sinning in one way or the other, who keep wanting to pull away from HIS direction to satisfy our earthly wisdom and flesh? So yes God can do all this for us, but we want to stay put in one place and not bend over backwards to reach out to a prickly porcupine?
(As always, let me stress the fact that loving someone doesn’t mean loving their sin, so if we are feeding into their sins which also includes abuse by us sticking around, then that’s not loving them!)
In fact, I think of Jonah running away from God. Why didn’t God just say, ‘oh I will let him run for as long as he wants to run… let’s see what he will do after that?’. But God didn’t! He stepped in, He intervened… He sent the whale to swallow Jonah to stop him in his paths. What great love God has for us! Likewise, Jesus says by our love for one another, let it be shown that we are HIS disciples! Ouchhhhh – tough one but hey isn’t the whole point of our life on earth to be transformed back into His image, His perfect character?
What if God is wanting to use you as His vessel to show love to someone who is hiding from love? What if someone is hurting real bad and is being a porcupine or retreating into their shell as they are insecure and think they are UNWORTHY to be loved? After I started reflecting and writing this blog post, I saw this status and I had goosebumps! God’s confirmation – and I believe God is speaking to you who are reading this today as well!!!
It is not easy to love everyone, but it is the call on every prophet’s life. To test us in this, God deliberately puts people around us who are meant to be loved by us. Oftentimes, we will have to be very creative to love them; some of them, by design, are not easy to love. But those unlovable ones, ironically, teach us the most about God’s heart. I call people like these grace growers. They cultivate the grace in my life by forcing me to be intentional about loving them. Grace growers provide us with a shortcut to enter the Presence of God at a deeper level of response.
(Graham Cook – from Approaching The Heart Of Prophecy)
Let’s surrender our hearts, our pride, our wanting it all easy, our selfishness – it all being about ME – and give it over to God to feel His heart beat and be a vessel in HIS hands! Are you ready to be moulded? Are you ready for an explosion of His Kingdom on earth as we surrender?