My primary purpose

“We were made not primarily that we may love God (though we were made for that too) but that God may love us, that we may become objects in which the Divine love may rest ‘well pleased.'”
~C.S. Lewis (in The Problem of Pain)

I encountered this quote on Facebook this morning, and it’s been on my mind all day. I’ve often heard it said that God loves us, but the emphasis has always been on the expectations that fact places on me for how I should respond. This turns the focus completely around.

And that makes all the difference, doesn’t it?

I read this quote this morning and wept in relief as I felt that gaping, empty hole inside me begin to fill with Divine love as I let down my walls enough to consider the possibility. I spend so much time and effort trying to win love, acceptance, approval, respect from others in what I do and say. While I am likely rather extreme in this need of these things from others, I suspect I am not totally alone. I suspect that most people seek these same things from others, even if they do so in much milder ways.

But what if we were all primarily made just to be loved by God? What if nothing else is required?

Even as I’ve pondered the possibility of this kind of love today, I’ve noticed my own heart responding naturally with a love for God. I can also begin to see how this would overflow into love for others as my neediness decreases to make their potential disapproval less threatening and as I become increasingly aware that they were also primarily made to be loved by God as I was. As I allow myself to be filled with the Divine love that I was made for, that Divine love can overflow from its vessel in me to the vessel for Divine love that is them.

If I were to live as if my primary purpose was to be loved by God and I were to fully embrace and accept that love, it would change everything. That one belief fully accepted would transform my life.

Which makes me wonder … what if salvation is not about accepting a creed, changing my behavior, or following any particular set of “rules”? What if salvation was simply opening myself to the Divine love that seeks me and allowing it to be my primary purpose? What if salvation is only about embracing my primary purpose and so being transformed by God’s love?

I’m not a theologian, and I don’t know the answers. But I do know that every time I consider this possibility of being loved like this that another part of my heart cracks open to allow that Divine love to flood in and tears of gratitude and healing flow. And that may be salvation enough for me.

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5 thoughts on “My primary purpose

  1. It was so hard for me to believe that God could just love me. I love Him So much! Somehow, like it hit you, I realized that he loved me—wanted to love me—move than I could ever imagine loving, or being loved. That knowing changed my life. If He loves me so very much, and He does me as I was then, and as I am now, what more do I need? And so, by allowing Hm to love me, and trusting in His love, I have been transformed more, oh so much more, than ever would have happened under my own volition. It is simply amazing!

    • Thank you for sharing your experience with this! I am still finding it hard to believe, but the idea is breaking through those walls of disbelief anyway. I am so glad to hear that you have found this to be as transforming as I was suspecting it would be. That is wonderful encouragement! Thank you!

  2. I don’t think the answers to your “what ifs” would be found in theology. Not in any way that would really matter. Change the “what ifs” to “is” and then live as if it’s true. See what happens in your life. If your love for God and others grows, then you have a much better answer than what any scholar could give. Theology has its place, and it’s already done what it can: got you to ask the question for yourself.

    I love C. S. Lewis. Good stuff.

    • That is wonderful advice, Bruce. Thank you! I love the idea of changing the “what ifs” to “is” and seeing what happens in my own experience. Thank you so much for that prompting!

      I love C. S. Lewis as well. I occasionally disagree with him (although that’s rare), but he always makes me think. I love that he so often does this by pointing out the simple truths rather than with complex arguments.

  3. Pingback: One beloved by God | Journey Through the Chrysalis

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