Circumstantial Love
By Jayna Coppedge

It wasn’t that I didn’t know Deuteronomy 6:5: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” I memorized that decades ago. I also knew that I demonstrated my love for God by obeying Him. My problem was that my love for God was circumstantial.

I loved God when I felt good, and life was easy. I loved Him when I thought of my salvation, Jesus dying on the cross, and heaven. I loved Him when the praise music was right and I had to keep from dancing.

When He let the car break, when I could not afford to buy fast food hamburgers, when people hurt my feelings—I did not love God much. I believed that unconditional love was only in fairy tales, just like “they lived happily ever after.” I am grateful that God did not leave me ignorant and miserable.

While I was leading a group through the book “Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby, I realized that I did not love God. Although I had been a Christian for over twenty years, my relationship with God was more intellectual than emotional. At that point, I began to pray, “Teach me to love You.”

Having my own children changed my view of God as Father. I cheered my toddler’s first steps, and cuddled my kids when they stumbled. God revealed to me that His reaction to my failures was not anger or frustration. Psalms 103:13, 14: “As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.”

My transformation accelerated as I quit studying the Bible as a “life manual.” No longer did I read the Bible for what it could do for me; I read to know God. I became fascinated with God.

I asked God to make me thirsty for Him. He answered my prayer by guiding me to spend more leisure time with Him. Occasionally I carve out an hour or two without media or interruption. I think of it as just hanging out with God. Together, we might read the Bible, sing through the hymnbook, or go for a walk. I do not feel God’s presence every time, but I do it anyway. By focusing on Him without expecting anything in return, I am saying, “God, you decide what we do together.”

During our time alone, God healed me from the defective love in my childhood. 1 John 4: 19: “We love because he first loved us.” Once I was open to His unconditional love, I learned to love him back with my heart, soul, and mind. This is not a passing emotional high. My circumstantial love dissolved when I fell in love with God.

Can you tell us about when you fell in love with Jesus? We would love to hear your story.

Jayna Coppedge picJayna’s contact info:



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About Brenda McGraw

Brenda McGraw is the founder of Ask God Today Ministries where a team of writers share hope and truth with others. She has a God-given dream to reach the masses with the gospel of Christ. Brenda is an author and speaker who reveals how to discover joy beyond the clutter of life. She draws from her own life experiences in the #1 Amazon Best seller,“Joy Beyond, 28 Days to Finding Joy Beyond the Clutter of Life”. She has two new books released. Finished, Top Ten Steps to Finish Writing a Book and Living Uncluttered, An Abundant Life Bible Study. Brenda lives in South Carolina with her husband, Jeff and one of their five children. She is a survivor of breast cancer and a heart attack. Despite the challenges she has endured, Brenda found peace through her relationship with Jesus Christ.
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