The Center of Our Affections

Find Your People, Day 2

By Jennie Allen

The fact that we were made in the image of God, who is relationship, means our longing for healthy, mutually submissive, supportive, interdependent relationships aren’t simply us craving something good for us, like vegetables or vitamins; we are craving the fundamental reason we were created. We weren’t just built for community; we were built because of it. Woven into the fiber of our souls is a pattern for experiencing an intimate relationship with God and then expressing that love in our families and communities and churches.

How arrogant are we to think that even though the God of the universe exists in a community, our little fragile finite selves can survive without it!

But here is where we go wrong. We look to people to complete and fill what only God was meant to fill. This is the primary reason we all are so unhappy with each other. We have put our hope in imperfect people. But that hope can be answered only in God Himself. Eternity was set in our hearts, Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, which means only a relationship with an eternal God can fill our hearts.

If God is in the center of our relational circle, we will be fulfilled, and out of that fulfillment, we can bless others. But if people are in the center of our relational circle, we end up pulling on others to meet needs that they can’t ever fully meet.

Jesus said it clearest. When asked to name the greatest commandment, He said all the commandments could be boiled down to this: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).

When you have God in the right place, at the center of your affections, you will more likely get people right. Your relationship with God comes first, and that relationship is meant to send you into loving others.

God, forgive me for so often valuing others’ opinions of me more than what You think of me. For putting hope in things and relationships that can never satisfy me like You can because they were never meant to. I want You to be the center of my life so that I can love others well. Amen.

for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.

Psalm 107:9

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Matthew 22:36‭-‬39

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