“‘You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment.”—Jesus Christ, 33 C.E. *
Some people find it difficult to love God. To them, God seems unfathomable, distant, or even cruel. Consider the following expressions:
“I prayed to God for help, but at the same time, I felt that he was far away, almost unreachable. To me, God was an abstract entity without feelings.”—Marco, Italy.
“Although I sincerely wanted to serve God, he seemed so far off. I thought he was a harsh God who only punishes us. I didn’t believe that he had tender feelings.”—Rosa, Guatemala.
“As a child, I believed that God was searching for our mistakes, ready to punish us if we deserved it. Later, I saw him as aloof. God was like a prime minister who manages the affairs of the people he leads—but who is not really interested in them.”—Raymonde, Canada.
What do you think? Is God unlovable? Christians have raised that question for centuries. In fact, during the Middle Ages, most inhabitants of Christendom did not even pray to Almighty God. Why not? People were in morbid fear of him. Historian Will Durant put it this way: “How could a simple sinner dare to take his prayer to so awful and distant a throne?”
How did God come to be viewed as “awful and distant”? What does the Bible really teach about God? Can learning the truth about God help you to love him?