The Motivation for Love
In his twentieth century classic, The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis imagines the demon Screwtape writing to his nephew Wormwood about the need to discover the secret as to why God loves humans. He writes, “The truth is, I slipped by mere carelessness into saying that the Enemy really loves the humans. That, of course, is an impossibility… . All His talk about Love must be a disguise for something else — He must have some real motive for creating them and taking so much trouble about them. The reason one comes to talk as if He really had this impossible Love is our utter failure to find out that real motive. What does He stand to make out of them? That is the insoluble question… . And there lies the great task. We know that He cannot really love: nobody can; it doesn’t make sense. If we could only find out what He is really up to!”
We wish the devils well in their quest to find the answer. For we who are God’s people, there is no need for such a search. We believe that God really loves us. God is love (1 John 4:16). Therefore, it is His very nature to love. He loved us in the period of our innocence before the fall, and He continues to love us in our fallen state. Hence, Jesus could say, “Love your enemies … that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:44–45).
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