On Not "Loving" God by S. M. Hutchens

On Not "Loving" God

by S. M. Hutchens

I feel, I must say, little emotional attachment to the Lord—hardly any of what is normally called "love"—but doubt if any Christian should be troubled by that. Loyalty, gratefulness, desire for his approval (but not enough), yes. But I deeply mistrust affective attachment as evidence of love. Obedience is the thing, for in that we are so frequently and obviously deficient as to be able to use it as an accurate measure of love. I find it difficult to detach "love" from the idolatry given to a god invented according to our desires, for the True God, worthy of infinite love, is not "lovable," except perhaps to the greatest of saints, of which surely there are few. I think one goes on a fool's errand when he tries to excite himself into a state of mind where he "loves" God. I may be wrong, but whenever anyone says, "Here is one of those saints," I still take the liberty of doubting it and think myself better off for the doubt, for much folly and division is occasioned by the exaltation of men, even the best of men.

S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

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