What We Do For Love Can Leave Us Unloved

Striving To Be Loved

The most important thing you can do for someone is to love them for who they are, not what they can do.

I was thinking about a particular talent I have. My next thought was about another person with the same talent. And in my opinion, she has less talent than I do in that area.

And then I thought how through the years, I’d met people who had less talent than I think I have. And how I judged that they were less talented. And wondered why they bothered to pursue that talent.

Then God, because He loves me, made it clear how unattractive that judgmental trait is. Not just unattractive. Destructive. Because judging others damages or destroys any hope of a caring relationship with them.

As I did when I realized some of my other character defects, I cried. I’m thankful God has at least changed me enough to realize I don’t want traits that harm others.

The realization about this judgmental aspect is something that needs to change in me.

So I asked God to forgive me, show me what steps I need to take to change, and turn the rest over to Him.

The first thing I must do, is analyze why I act that way. (Analysis is definitely a talent I have in abundance. My friends will attest to that.)

The conclusions I reached are:

— I use my talents to feel special.

— Special enough to be attractive to others.

— Attractive enough to be loved.

— And I’m not worthy to be loved unless my talent, my “specialness”, is superior to anyone else with that talent.

Ugh. Painful to realize. Excruciating to admit. And because I’ve survived on crumbs of acceptance for acting that way, it’s difficult to accept that I’ve believed that lie for most of my life.

Then I had to acknowledge that I’ve acted that way so many times, only God can count that high.

So how does one attain love?

The truth is: Real love isn’t given because of a special talent I possess.

But what can I do to help that truth become as engrained in me as the lie is now?

One essential element is my motivation. I can’t attain love by seeking it like a starving man grovels for food. That’s when I accept the scraps and leftovers tossed away by others. And believe the devastating lie that crumbs are all I deserve to receive.

The answers are found in the place I find all the answers that work. I must remember:

— To be humble and ask the Source of All Love what to do.

— God loves and forgives me. He expects me to forgive myself for searching in an unhealthy way. He sacrificed His own Son so I wouldn’t have to hate myself.

— If I loathe myself, I’m useless to show real love and kindness to others.

— God loves me too much to leave me striving for love in ways that destroy.

— God will change me so I give and receive love in healthy ways. From people who share their banquet, and not just the scraps.

Here’s the test of clean motivation:

— Show love and kindness without expecting love and kindness to be shown in return.

— Trust God will take care of when, how, and by whom I am loved.

What other lies do people believe about how to get others to love them? What can help heal those lies?

What We Do For Love Can Leave Us Unloved – What lies do people believe about how to get others to love them? Click To Tweet

Joni Vance is an award-winning author of fiction, essay, and poetry. She loves mystery, history, and how God reveals Himself every day.


May God reveal the mystery of His love in your life story.

6 thoughts on “What We Do For Love Can Leave Us Unloved

  1. Jane H Green

    It is so hard for us to look deeply inside. We definitely see things we don’t want to see. You courageously did that. And you are so right… it all goes back to leaning on God and learning how we can do better…. Love more. And since love is a fruit of the Spirit, the closer we get to God, I think the more love He gives us for others.

  2. Joni,
    You never fail to give me things to ponder, to pray about.
    Good word. Thank you!

  3. Joni, this is a really insightful post. I can see how it helped you and it is helpful to me. A great reminder that God’s love is perfect and worth imitating. I believe we all have different love languages, but one mistake we sometimes make is trying to pay for love through actions and words.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting, Tim. I’m glad it was helpful to you. Grateful for God’s insight when we need it.

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