Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 17, 2019
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18
I learned many wonderful things from my father while growing up. I learned how to take risks and enjoy new adventures, to start a conversation with anyone and easily make new friends. And, I learned how to be creative and to love the outdoors.
But there is one thing I learned from my father that has created a consistent, life-long struggle for me: believing my value is based on my performance.
My father was a busy man who struggled with his own sense of not being good enough. When he was young, he was an athlete. When I was young, I took up sports and performed well, excelling in volleyball, basketball, and softball.
When I was scoring points, he praised me because his self-esteem was boosted through my achievements.
When I didn’t perform well, he scolded me. And, to top it off, when I was off the court or the field, he was emotionally unavailable for my siblings and I. Outside of sports, we didn’t have much of a relationship, which reaffirmed the belief that I wasn’t worth loving just because of who I was.
He never berated me or said I was a failure. But his lack of emotional availability coupled with praising me only when I performed well set up this false belief in me that I had to earn love and affection.
I transferred this belief onto God when I came to Christ. Believing God is passive, uninvolved in my life, or that I am more favored by Him when I am “good” has been something I have always wrestled with. I have gone through long seasons of being fully convinced of the Lord’s love, but the lie that I am not good enough often rears it’s ugly head.
Perhaps you can relate.
Maybe you have believed the lie that your performance or behavior is tied to how much you are loved. But here’s the truth that the Lord always brings me back to when I feel the burden that I am not enough: God separates my actions from my value. My value is found in Him. I am loved because He is loving, not because I am good.
There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more, and there is nothing you can do to make Him love you less. You are loved just because you are His child.
When you find that you feel anxious because you feel that you are not doing enough, remember you are loved.
When you find yourself striving to do more because you feel you are not valuable, remember you are loved.
When you find yourself fearing that you’ll be abandoned if you are not good enough, remember you are loved.
You are loved. End of story. Nothing can change that because He is unchangeable.
Just ponder that. “The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).
Lord, I praise you that no matter how I feel about myself, your love for me never changes. Please help me not to project my feelings about myself onto you. You are pure love. Pure unconditional care, and you never leave those who belong to you. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.
Take a few moments to sit silently in the Lord’s presence and thank Him for His unconditional love. If you feel prompted, ask Him to show you if you feel guilt or condemnation about anything you have done or about who you are. Then, ask Him to reveal His love to you.
You are loved for being you, not for something you do. #WisdomHunters #love #truth #Jesus
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