Ever heard the quote, “We accept the love we think we deserve?”
Well, it comes from the “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, a best-selling novel by Stephen Chbosky. To me, the book explains how love works in the world: We choose a lesser love when we think we’re unworthy of a better love. Conversely, we reject love from some people — even wonderful people — when we think too highly of ourselves and believe we deserve better.
In my experience, the quote has truth in it. In the novel, the protagonist learns that his sister is physically abused by her boyfriend. But she is unwilling to end the relationship: She had accepted that this abusive love was the only form of love she could possibly receive.
She put up with the hurtful torment because a guy who would treat her with care and concern was an unfathomable notion to her. Ultimately, she can’t end the relationship on her own — her parents intervene to save her.
But that’s one extreme, the flip-side is that it’s all too easy to give up on those we deem as “unworthy” of our time.
Some psychological studies suggest that it’s easier lose interest in those who express a liking towards us. It’s called “uncertainty theory”, which suggests you are more likely to have romantic interest in someone, when you’re uncertain of whether your affections will be reciprocated.
Uncertainty theory is one attempt to understand human behaviour. But can we use it to examine God’s love?
Let’s take a quick look at the beginning of the Bible. When God created Adam and Eve, the garden of Eden was basically a perfect haven for them. God allowed them freedom and authority to do whatever they wanted, with the exception of one rule — not to eat the forbidden fruit.
But yet Adam and Eve failed to obey that one rule (Genesis 2:1-3:24). The Bible and world history is filled with countless accounts of humans rebelling against God. But time and time again, though upset at their disobedience, God ultimately responds with forgiveness and love.
We accept the love we think we deserve. It’s overwhelming to know that God loves us even though we don’t deserve it. But that makes the Gospel so much more beautiful, doesn’t it?
If we want to talk about what we deserve — then the truth is we deserve is death. That’s all we rightfully deserve. And yet He has given us life — He has given us everything. In Christ we have gone from being unworthy wretches to sons and daughters of the Most High God!
How does something like that even work? Only by the blood.
Jesus’s blood covers all our sins the moment we accept and follow Him as Lord and saviour. All who believe in Him will be saved (Romans 10:9).
The ball’s in your court: Will you accept the love you never deserved?