Answers In Love

Winning at Life God's Way

When You Really Need to Hit Three for Three

A few years ago I heard an unforgettable story about an interesting young man. His story teaches a valuable lesson we all need.

The handsome blond-haired young man with movie-star like features lived in California. His professional model wife circulated with movie stars. He owned a successful business, lived in a beautiful house, drove a luxury sports car and enjoyed pleasant relationships with family and friends.

His glaring problem was a depression that landed him in the psych ward of a public hospital where he saw a doctor one time. He told the doctor his depression didn’t make sense because he said, “I have it all.” Despite all the young man had he also said, “It feels like there’s just something missing.”

The Christian doctor considered what he heard and inquired about the patient’s spiritual life. The young man quickly dismissed the inquiry and said, “I don’t go in for that kind of thing.”

Before treatment in the public hospital could go further the patient learned of an opening in a private elite clinic. He transferred there and not long after committed suicide.

When Something’s Missing

Most of us feel “there’s just something missing” when we get down, discouraged, lonely or afraid. There usually is something missing – love.

I’m not talking about the kind of romantic or emotional love that we passively sit around and wait to come our way. I’m talking about the proactive kind of love we make happen – the kind God commands us to do.

Christ’s two great commands tell us to do three things (Matt 22:36-40):

  1. love of God
  2. love of others
  3. love ourselves

Loving God, others and ourselves gives purpose and joy to our lives in a way physical beauty, wealth and social standing cannot.

God’s Package Plan

You’ve heard it said  that “two out of three ain’t bad.” That works for things like quiz shows. When it comes to obeying Christ’s love commands we need to hit three for three.

Christ didn’t say love God, others or yourself. He didn’t tell us to pick and choose the kinds of love we want to offer or the kinds that feel convenient. He tells us to love God, others and ourselves. Failure to love in all three directions thwarts God’s purposes and turns life sour. Consider:

The self-centered person. The young man referenced above seemed to love himself (judging by his lavish lifestyle) and he got along with people. Still he did not know or love God and did not love others through service. He loved in one of the three commanded directions (self) and lived a life without purpose, hope or joy.

The self-deprecating person. This person may do a great job of loving God and others but not themselves. They put themselves down, feel guilty, lack confidence, neglect self care and let others take advantage of them. They don’t see themselves as valued, gifted and needed instruments of God’s purposes. They love in just two commanded directions (God and others) and they hurt.

The critic. This person practices spiritual disciplines and thinks highly of self but has little regard for or patience with most others. He loves himself and thinks he loves God. He or she may even serve (for self serving reasons) but will stay aloof from meaningful involvements. This person loves in only two commanded directions (God and self) and  lives a lonely life marked by dissatisfaction and complaint.

Get the Package Plan

Christ’s prescription for the good life includes proactive love of God, others and our selves. Neglecting even one of these dimensions of proactive love creates dissatisfaction and that disturbing sense that “there’s just something missing.”

How’s your life going? If it feels like something’s missing check how well you’re actively loving God, others and self. If you’re neglecting even one of these three kinds of love please fix that now. God will help you (Gal 5:22). I promise your life will feel better.

Wishing you an amazing love life! Wishing you three for three!!







About Cheryl Savageau

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor

6 Replies

  1. Kristin F

    Great post, Cheryl!!

    1. Cheryl Savageau

      Thanks Kristin!

  2. Wonderful post, Cheryl. How would I go about self-diagnosing which love area needs my attention most?

    1. Cheryl Savageau

      Good question. Make a list of what you do (not feel) to love God, other’s and yourself. All three deserve time and care. Check self-talk (that’s a behavior too!). For example We can say “I’m an idiot” or “I’m so human” when we have a bad day 🙂 “God’s doesn’t care” or “I need to wait on God.”

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