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To Love with God’s Love

Today’s Reflection

WE ARE NEEDY PEOPLE. We need attention, affection, influence. These needs are so strong that we may find ourselves arranging our lives in order to satisfy them. But this is a tragic trap because we can never find the attention, influence, or care that really fills our needs. This leads to a life filled with tension as we seek what we cannot find.

Why are we so needy? I think it comes from an awareness of woundedness. We have doubts about our selves. These doubts trace back to deep, early experiences that cause us to feel not fully acceptable as we are. We are not at home with our selves. From our feeling of woundedness we become needy. And in our neediness we wound others. There is an interlocking relationship between needs and wounds that stretches backward and forward from generation to generation. This is the context of what we call “love.”

The gospel breaks through this chain of interlocking needs and wounds. The great message of Jesus is that God loves us first and that we can love one another only because God has loved us first. Jesus calls us to come home to that first love, which precedes all human loves. This is the original blessing, the original acceptance, our original home. The Christian life means to love one another with God’s love and not with the needy, wounded love that can end up harming others.

– Henri J. M. Nouwen
A Spirituality of Homecoming

From pages 32-33 of A Spirituality of Homecoming, part of The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series by Henri J. M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab, Series Editor. Copyright © 2012 by The Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Share God’s love with someone who needs it.

Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?
Mark 12:28, NRSV

This Week: pray for those seeking employment. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

Do you long for a deeper experience of faith and a place to nourish your spiritual life? The Academy for Spiritual Formation® is excited to announce that Academy #35 is coming to the Mercy Center in Burlingame, California and we’re looking for qualified recruits to participate in this life-changing opportunity. Academy #35 begins in January 2013. Applications, brochures and additional details are available at http://academy.upperroom.org/

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember Jude (October 28).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2012, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 3 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller November 3, 2012, 3:59 am

    I try to love someone everyday, near or far, with me or not.

    Lord continue to help those searching for employment, may they always put you first trusting in your provision. With you they can not fail for you o Lord are our creator, protector, shield, and redeemer. Thank you,

  • heidi November 3, 2012, 5:32 am

    (Is it you who needs the love of God? The pure, unfiltered desire just to be– with you? the live that washes your soul, ravishes you, leaves you breathless and speechless, overwhelmed by its power and intensity?).

    This I wish for you: a close encounter of the Almighty kind. Yours for the accepting. <3

  • Buzz November 3, 2012, 12:44 pm

    How can I not agree with Nouwen? I do. But, I think he did not far eough. Twelve step programs say we all have God-shaped holes in ou souls that can only be filled by God. I agree with them, too.

    For me, to be able to realize that God could possibly love me, I must simultaneously love my self (break intended) and realize that God loves me.

    If memory serves, scripture says that I am to love others as I love myself.

    I can’t love others as I love myself unless I first love myself. Loving myself includes understanding that God loves me.

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