Many seek love in food. There is a reason we call certain foods “comfort food.” We have programmed our minds to interpret the eating of certain types of food as the same as being loved. However, this temporary fix of an ever present need soon fails. Some will eat more and more and gain more and more weight. This cycle of eating for love develops the side effect that since I weigh so much I am not lovable. Therefore, I need to eat more to feel loved. Food is a cheap substitute for love; but the consequences can be deadly.
Another method used in today’s society to achieve the feeling of love and acceptance is the use of various drugs. These drugs can range from the comradery found in using marijuana or the isolation of drinking. It may be the use of prescription to ease the pain of rejection or the use of meth as a social experiment. The problem with drugs is they do allow you to forget your pain for a time but when you come down the pain is worse and the amount of drugs has to be increased to get that same euphoria.
How about money and the things money can buy? Too many people find a false love in companions who swear they are friends as long as the money flows. If you are buying things for those around you, they will pretend to be your friend just because of the benefits they receive. When the money stops, the “friends” fly the coop. This too is a false idea of love and acceptance.
Any addiction can give us the feeling of acceptance and love; but it is just the feeling and not the real thing. If you are a work-aholic, you may receive praise and awards. You may have people flock to be on your team at work so they can receive the fallout praise. But when you wear your body down and you can no longer work 80 plus hours per week, you are quickly tossed aside like a used Kleenex.
If all these things don’t serve to bring us true and lasting love and acceptance, what will? Maybe we start to look in the spiritual realm. Surely, religion will accept us and bring us love. Again, too many seek love and acceptance through religion by looking in the wrong place. Maybe you seek the path of enlightenment and join Buddhism. This path lead to eventual death just like Buddha died. Maybe you seek a “peaceful” religion like Islam. Islam’s founder died and does no one any good today. Each of this world’s religion has buried or cremated its founder. Each religion bases any change on your own effort. We have already seen that our efforts will provide only a short-term solution. Don’t we desire a long-term solution? If so, there is good news.
Addictions, religion, money, wealth, and fame will all fail us. These are just short-term illusions of acceptance and love. The only way to have long-lasting and true love and acceptance is not through our efforts but by a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. On that first Easter morning, the women went to the tomb where Christ had been laid. They were seeking the Lord but they were looking in the wrong place. The angel asked a poignant question:
Why seek ye the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5)
Love and acceptance is needed for a fulfilled life. It can only come through the understanding that our God has made the way for us to be accepted in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6). Since our acceptance is based on the sacrifice of God Himself in the form of the Lord Jesus Christ, it is both secured and everlasting. The sacrifice of Christ can never be changed so our acceptance and the love it brings can never be taken from us. If we seek acceptance from imperfect humans, we will have imperfect acceptance and imperfect love. If we seek acceptance and love through artificial means (money, drugs, etc), we will have artificial love and acceptance. If we seek love and acceptance through dead religious leaders and the systems they developed, we will have a dead love and acceptance. But, we if seek love and acceptance based on the living Lord Jesus and His work on the cross that culminated in His resurrection from the dead where He now lives at the right hand of the Father; we will understand and have true, living love and acceptance. This is only possible through a right relationship with Jesus Christ—the Risen One!