He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not – Greg Albrecht
When you were in your early teens, just beginning to discover that the opposite sex existed, you may remember playing the game “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not.” The game was all about “love” as we understood it at the time.
Back in the “olden days,” when we had a crush on someone, and we weren’t really sure whether they liked us or not, most of us were too reluctant and shy to find out by more direct means—like asking. Times have really changed haven’t they? Back then we would find a flower and begin to pull its petals, playing the He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not game. The last petal left on the flower answered the question, didn’t it?
If you’re a “little older” like me I’m sure you played that game more than once. I remember playing the game literally, and then, when I grew too old for using a flower to determine whether a girl liked me or not, I would resort to other, equally silly and superstitious ways of making that determination.
You know, many of us, without critically analyzing it, attempt to understand our relationship with God by playing a similar game with God. In this most important relationship we can ever have, we often convince ourselves that we’re not sure how God really feels about us, so we play a guessing game. We play the He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not game with God because we are convinced that his love is conditional. Even after we say we have initially accepted God’s love, we keep playing the game. We torture ourselves, continuously second-guessing God’s commitment to us as we ask ourselves questions like, “Does he still love me—especially after what I did last week?” We wonder whether he has forgiven us—this time.
So around and around we go. We think, “Well, he must love me because I had a good day—or a good week.” Then we pull another petal from the flower of the days of our lives. We think about yesterday—or the day before that—or the week before—and we realize that our behavior was unlovable. So we conclude, “He loves me not.”
God’s love—the relationship we have with him—is not a conditional gift. That’s why it’s silly to play the He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not game with God.