Wednesday, March 4, 2009

God doesn't need us

Harsh thought. I was sitting with a group of men this morning, reflecting on Acts 17:25:

"[God] is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives all men life and breath and everything else."

Theologians refer to this as God's aseity or self-sufficiency. It means that God is not dependent on anything else. Quite the contrary, we are dependent of God for everything. We need Him to give us "life and breath and everything else."

This independence raised the question among the Starbucks-drinking group, "But, surely God needs our love. That's why He created us. Because, if God doesn't need our love, then we're potentially one mistake away from being dumped by Him."

SIDEBAR: This led to a great dialogue about truth vs. our emotions. As humans, we default to feeling over fact. We tend to formulate what we believe to be true by what we feel in our hearts. However, feelings and experience cannot be the locomotive of life (to use an old Campus Crusade for Christ analogy). The unwavering truth of Scripture must inform, shape and translate my experiences...not the other way around.

Now let's get back to the self-sufficiency of God. If God doesn't need me, does that make His love less extraordinary? After our study, the image of a foster family came to mind. A little girl is placed in foster care and the family later chooses to adopt her. The parents don't need the child, yet they choose to love her. Now, which is a more extraordinary love: Parents loving the girl because they need to be loved by her...or parents who do not need her love but choose to adopt her and love her as their own? Suddenly, I begin to see the bigger picture. And, this truth of God's independence leads me to an even greater view of my heavenly Father and a more humble appreciation of just how much I am loved!


da momma said...


Anonymous said...

You said: "If God doesn't need me, does that make His love less extraordinary?"

It makes it MORE extraordinary. To love out of need involves an element of "have to." To love out of independent, free will is unconditional. "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy." We are all God's adopted children. God IS love.