Love First

Field of flowers

You have probably heard it said, you are loved through Christ. Since Jesus paid the price you may walk free. You say, amen hallelujah, thank God for His love and sacrifice. God hates sin, but now, by His grace and because of Jesus on the cross, He can now look at me, accept me and love me. All this because Jesus became the perfect offering. When God looks at me, He sees the Lamb of God. God loves you in and through Christ. Surprisingly I am asking you if this message can in fact be harmful? How can this message really limit your self love, self respect and then your love for your neighbour? When the message is that God can’t love you if it wasn’t for Christ, there may a problem.

Yet, the Bible also tells us to love God and man, in the same way we love ourselves. But do you really, truly love yourself? Self love is a bit of a taboo, and often looked upon as egotistical. But what if it is crucial before all the other fruits of the Spirit to grow is that you begin with love, love for self, love for God. Can you see that if God can look at you only through Christ, he is not looking at you at all!? And how can you love yourself alone, if God needs Jesus to do so? But what if Love came first? Love for creation, and Love for you, since you are a unique part of it?

Genesis explains that God created life and everything. He breathed His very Spirit into us through our nostrils. This is how you became alive, God breathed is Spirit of Life and Love into you. Now this Spirit flows from your within. That’s the Good News! God loves you from within!! You have this River of Love within you!

Remember, Genesis also tells us that God’s creation was good, and even when man was created God said it was very good. Can you say that to yourself, I am very good!? Can you truly say that? Isn’t that what God is saying? Humans are the greatest in my creation, it is the crown? Is that how you look upon yourself, God’s crown? If God was asked, show me what you are most proud of and fond of, when it comes to your artistry, your creation, what would the Divine say? Wouldn’t He point His finger in your and other people’s direction and say, YOU!?

God loves you, He, She, the Trinity, They love you! In 2.Peter it even says that we are partakers in the Divine Nature! How can that be? These news, are almost too good to be true! And isn’t that the surprise of grace, it is almost too good to be true? But that is if we think in our human way. That God loves us and looks upon us as very good, is God’s true perspective. Love always comes first! But wait, you say, you are only telling half truths, your missing the greater picture. You, say, man is sinful, and every evil desire lurks within man. God hates sin, but loves sinners/humans.

I ask you, does God only love what is perfect? And does God need someone perfect to die, to love us? Whatever God did, He did it because He already loved us, right? Still, maybe we are the ones that need this scapegoat? Do we need someone to put the blame on, so we don’t have to face our own sin and darkness? I am not saying man is all light. I know that for sure, just by looking into my own heart. But I am saying we need to get the start right, for you, for me, for our children, for everyone.

God loves mankind, He LOVES you and He loves His creation. It is His pride! With this Love He breathed Life into your very within, before you were sent into this world to live your unique life, the best way you can.

I ask you to sit for a few moments in silence. Ask yourself, do I love myself, in the same way God loves me, His crown, His masterpiece? Then let yourself sink into His love, a Love that embraces you in your completeness (goodness and badness), in order to free you into true self love and love for others.

It is there for you, the River within, the River of Love.

Love first, always…

Are you a listener and likes to be read to – go here to find an audioversion of this text:

Love First audiofile

Note: If you are interested in the topic of scapegoating books by René Girard may be of interest. Poems of Rainier Rilke are also great, and even his book “Letters to a young poet”. Last, but not the least, I would recommend reading Richard Rohr’s books, i.e. Fallling Upward and Immortal Diamond. Even though I don’t quote any of these authors directly, I think I am indebted to them.

#Knowing

Norwegian winter landscape

I believe in a knowing that you can experience more and more by listening to the small voice within and by walking the path set before you. This is most likely a path that at times will bring confusion and despair, but also hope, love and grace.

There are ways for you to grow from being governed by your ego to being more and more guided, led and held by this inner knowing. The poet Rilke once wrote or said “the only journey is the journey within”. He is both right, and wrong. Wrong if his words are taken too literally. I truly believe in the journey within as a journey we are called to take, especially in the afternoon of life. Richard Rohr inspired by Jung writes about the first and second half of life in his wise book “Falling Upward”. When I say that understood too literally the words from Rilke can be “wrong”, I mean that there is always a need for balance. We need to look both outside and inside.

For me going cross-country skiing or hiking in the mountains are great ways to observe beautiful landscapes and God’s magnificent creation outside myself. At the same time these seemingly outside-yourself-experiences are also inner experiences. The beauty that I see resonates with something deep within me. What I see outside and around me connects with and gives birth to a knowing within me. So, the journey within is in a way the most important, but we also need to contemplate the beauty outside to experience a connection to our inner life and to spirit.

It is true what Augustin said “my soul is restless until it finds its rest in you”. As we grow up spiritually and connect with God’s spirit and our deepest self within we find a knowing and also a rest.

All of us have different life stories. Some have experienced very close and loving relationships when they were children and just beginners on their journeys. Others have experienced more troublesome childhoods, loneliness and a lack of true love and embrace. All of us have our own journeys to take. For some it may take many years to grow into this deeper knowing. Some also have to go through therapy to get there.

No matter what, I believe in this deeper knowing which becomes an intuitive knowledge of eternal truths and a knowing of true love. The knowing you experience makes dogmas less important and even less true, because truths that we know within are often simple and universal. The first and most universal truth I think, is that the universe is filled with love. We as well as the whole universe are created out of love. We are created and also placed in this world by a Love.

What about all the pain and suffering you say? Where is this love that you are talking about? For myself, life has noe been an easy walk either. All I can say today, I see you. Yes, there is great suffering and pain in this world. Yes, there is great pain and loneliness in our and other people’s lives. Still I believe that the deeper knowing we can experience is a knowing that tells us about a Love, a Love greater than anything else.

Let us just leave it at that today. Know that you are loved by Love, and knowledge of this Love can also become part of your inner knowing!

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