Daily Riches: “Detachment” and Loving Well (Donald McCullough) *

“Love flourishes only in freedom. Relationships based on the illusions born of insecurities inevitably will become coercive, and nothing destroys love faster then coercion. How could it be otherwise? Love is a gift, one that cannot be given under compulsion or taken by force. Love cannot happen if others are treated as mere extensions of ourselves as slaves of our needs and desires. Only through detachment–the separation of ourselves from others and others from ourselves–can we find the freedom that makes room for the mutual attentiveness and mutual honoring and mutual delight and mutual serving that are the foursquare foundation of authentic love.” Donald McCullough

“I have loved you
even as the Father has loved me.
Remain in my love.
… Love each other in the same way
I have loved you.”
John 15:9,12

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Does such “detachment” from others seem like a good and proper thing, or a selfish, misguided thing? Are you able to give someone freedom to solve their own problem – or not? to fail – or not? What does your answer say about you?
  • Have you even had someone try to control you or manipulate you “for your own good?” Did you feel loved?
  • Is your love ever coercive or manipulative – really about some need of yours? If so, can you put your finger on what that need of yours might be?
  • God loves you greatly, but allows you to make lots of mistakes, and often, to suffer the consequences. He respects your freedom, and waits for you to choose to love him. All this could be otherwise. Do you think it’s good the way it is? Why or why not?

Abba, help me to love others, not because of some need of my own, but for their good. Help me to love enough to release control of those I love, even when sometimes it means watching them struggle and fail. Even when I think I have the answer. Even when I think they can’t do without me.


For More: The Consolations of Imperfection by Donald McCullough


My goal in sharing these ‘daily riches” is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words of less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. I appreciate your interest! –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

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