Should We Love God and Nothing Else?

unknown-3Some Christians think we should love God and God alone. The idea is this. God is supreme. God is the ultimate object of all human longing. He is the only Being in all of reality that won’t let us down. We should therefore love God and shun all else. This line of thinking is deeply mistaken. It is also unbiblical. Nor can it be done; we cannot love God alone.

Yes we are to love God. The deepest longing of the human heart is to know and love him. The issue, rather, is how we love. We ought to love God supremely. But we ought not love God only. We are to love people and things, as Augustine puts it, in their proper order. We can and do love people and things other than God: family, friends, work, play, our toys, and more. If we love each of these people or things as gifts from God that are to be enjoyed in creaturely response—and in their proper order according to their value—we love them rightly. If these good gifts occupy a place in our hearts that only God is meant to occupy, they become idols.

The idea that we are to love God and nothing else is also unbiblical. Jesus tells us that the greatest commandment in all of Scripture is to love God first and our neighbors second (Matthew 22:37-29). Notice we are not command to love God alone rather we are commanded to love him first or supremely.

Moreover, it is just not possible to love God and nothing else. If we truly love God, then we will love all that he has made. We can’t help but allow our love for God to spill over in our love for others—and for the rest of his creation.

C. S. Lewis eloquently states the consequence of failing to love our fellow man or creature:

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. . . . The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.[1]

There is nothing safe about loving God. Our love for God will spill over into our love for all that he has made. It will open us up to the possibility of pain, hardship, sacrifice, and toil. Love for God will also transform us to be more like him and find our meaning and purpose in a story bigger than ourselves, a story that is alive and inviting and fully satisfying.

Should you love God? Yes! It is what you were made for. Love him supremely.

Should you love all God has made? Yes!  He made it for you to enjoy in creaturely response as his gift.

In love God made. In love God gives. In love we respond and receive the happiness that God gives.



[1] C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988), 169.

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