Have you ever taken a personality test before? There are several to choose from out there and they are quite fascinating. They all have one thing in common: they help you understand who you are.
Anytime I have taken one in the past, I am reminded that I am a HUGE extrovert. These results never surprise me, but it does make me aware of my need to be around people, to feel connected. I love people. I love conversation. It fills me up.
As a follower of Christ, I’ve learned that this can be a challenge. I depend too much on people at times, and not enough on God. Maybe you can relate?
I feel this way often when I am alone. Instead of seeking God I tend to go to others with my need to feel connected and loved. I’ll rush to social media, conversations over text messaging, or await emails to see if anyone has reached out to me. I want to feel known and important. It’s something that I’ve always struggled with.
When I was a young teen growing up in an environment of divorce and confusion, I sought love and acceptance in all the wrong places. I gave into the peer pressure through partying and promiscuous relationships because I was willing to do anything it took to get the love and attention that I desired. I soon found out after I became a Christian, my striving and searching were effortless because it could only be found in God.
Maybe you’re like me and you’ve looked for love, acceptance, and fullness in all the wrong places. Often times when we want attention or are struggling, we go to friends or our spouses to fulfill our needs. These relationships are designed by God and they are healthy but they will never fill us up completely. The tangible pursuit of love and affirmation found in people can be deceiving if we have unrealistic expectations.
Only God has the power to give us unconditional love we crave; the agape love. Agape (agápē) is an ancient greek word for “love” and we see this word many times throughout the new testament. It is the highest form of love; the love of God for man. This type of love can only come from him unlike brotherly love (philēo) that is reciprocal. We can only receive agape love because we aren’t capable of giving it.
Agape is the very nature of God. It is the make up of who he is. He gives this love without anything in return. It’s ongoing and unconditional. It’s dependable and constant, unlike people.
I love people but people are bound to disappoint us. People change and they have potential to hurt us especially if they are our soul oxygen, as Lysa Terkerurst puts it. I know this to be true, because I have experienced it and maybe you have to. Lisa further explains in her new book, Uninvited,
“Being full of God’s love settles, empowers, and brings out the best of who we are. On the other hand, the more full of the flesh we are, the more we grab at anyone and anything to fill that ache for love and acceptance.”
I have the fullness of God. You have the fullness of God but it’s something that we must choose daily. It begins with the first thought we think. The first thing we do. And the first word that comes out of our mouth.
This is my daily prayer that I will choose life and love found in Jesus and rest solely on him alone. Let us grasp the fullness and agape (love) found in God. It is incomparable to the fullness we seek in people. Let us no longer go to our relationships, text messages, or social media to fill the void inside of our hearts but let us lean into the giver of the life and the creator of our souls.
For some like myself, I’m not sure we will ever get over our need for people but we can come to realize that we need God more. I choose him today. Will you?
**Lysa Terkeurst is wrecking my world with her newest book, Uninvited. She is encouraging women all around the world to live loved with full assurance and acceptance that only comes from Christ. If you struggle with lies, loneliness, feelings of rejection or if you depend too much on people like I do, then you’ve got to grab this book. It’s life changing.