No sooner do we believe that God loves us than there an impulse to believe that he does so, not because he is love, but because we are intrinsically lovable.. But then, how magnificently we have repented.. (so) we next offer our own humility to God’s admiration. Surely, he’ll like that? If not that, our clear-sighted and humble recognition that we still lack humility. Thus, depth beneath depth and subtlety within subtlety, there remains some lingering idea of our own, our very own, attractiveness.
It is easy to acknowledge but almost impossible to realize for long, that we are mirrors whose brightness if we are bright, is wholly derived from the sun that shines upon us. Surely we must have a little – however little – native luminosity?
We want to be loved for our cleverness, beauty, generosity, fairness usefulness. The first hint that anyone is offering us the highest love of all is a terrible shock.
CS Lewis, The Four Loves