DEVOTIONAL GUIDE: There is only one genuine love

The love of God poured into our hearts overflows toward others beyond the love we, imperfect humans, can provide.

Pastor Andy Spurlin (photo submitted July 1, 2021)
We are part of The Trust Project.

God's love towards us is absolute, but our love towards others on this side of heaven will always be relative and never consistently absolute.

We are all works in progress. Our passion towards others is constantly changing and fluctuating, much like the weather. It may be sunny and get windy and still and turn overcast. Limitations and vulnerabilities will cause love to fluctuate and be uncertain.

In reality, even with the best intentions, everyone has fears, blind spots, hidden motivations, and insecurities, which can obstruct the flow of genuine love. Even in our closest relationships, we can shift between being open and closed, experiencing clear skies and dark clouds.

When someone is receptive, listens well or says something positive, it may naturally cause us to open up. However, when the other person is not responsive, doesn't listen or says something threatening, we may tense up and become closed off.

Therefore, we run into problems when we try to find fulfillment in another person. Consequently, it is crucial to understand the difference between absolute and relative love.


It is futile to seek perfect love in imperfect others who are also works-in-progress (or maybe not making as much progress as we think they should be). While intimate connections can provide brief glimpses of absolute unity, we cannot consistently rely on them for that. The belief that happiness and well-being are found in the acceptance, approval or care of others is a dangerous illusion.

Despite the ups and downs of our relationships, there is a great and absolute love always present behind the scenes and never fades. This love remains constant even when things seem dark and turbulent, like the sun shining behind the clouds.

The only source of genuinely perfect love is the One who is love. God is not merely loving; at His core, "God is love" (1 John 4:8,16). God's love towards us is absolute and perfect. His love is the only reliable source of love, and He poured out His in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).

This understanding of God's perfect love poured into our hearts allows His love to overflow towards others beyond what we, humans, can provide. It is the key that will enable absolute love to flow through us increasingly. "We love because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

When understood correctly, this longing can motivate us to go beyond ourselves, give ourselves entirely and turn towards a fulfilling spiritual life and relationships.

"My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God" (1 John 4:7).

"If we are unwilling to admit that the racism exists in our power structures, people of color will continue to pay a deadly price."

Pastor Andy Spurlin serves at Restoration Christian Church in Park Rapids.
What To Read Next
State Trooper Jesse Grabow answers your road safety questions.
With its soft and gooey center surrounded by a crisp exterior, kladdkaka is the perfect cross between a brownie and a molten lava cake.
State Trooper Jesse Grabow answers your road safety questions.
This week, gardening columnist Don Kinzler fields questions on hibiscus plants, beating apple trees and how long grass seeds will last.