“Peter, do you love Me with the highest, purest, strongest, and most empowering kind of love?”
“Lord, you already know the answer. I love you, but I barely know how to, even as just my friend” (from John 21, paraphrased).
When Jesus restores Peter to relationship with him, he uses the word “agape,” the greatest form of love. Peter answers with the word “phileo,” brotherly love, because he doesn’t feel worthy or capable of loving like Jesus.
That’s Jesus’ point. No one can be the source of the most powerful reality in the universe, but you can live as an integral part of it. It’s never about performing to make God love you, and it’s not about exhaustively emptying yourself out time after time physically, emotionally, and spiritually. That can only lead to a never-ending cycle of failure and frustration, the opposite of what he intends for you.
God loves you beyond your ability to fully comprehend it, and will never love you less. He is love itself, it’s his nature and character. So, it’s all about knowing him, and learning to receive his love as a constant flow into your heart and mind, and overflowing it into your world as his beloved son or daughter.
Stand in that river and be restored, healed, and strengthened. Let him show you who you are in that love, and who you’re becoming. Let him show you how much you’re loved. Now go transform the earth.
“Aim at heaven and you get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.” –C.S. Lewis